Purple Prose + photography tips

Finding Magic in Doggie Doo (Aka Your Writing)

©Stina Lindenblatt

The purpose of the first draft is to get our story down. It doesn’t matter if the imagery is lame or non-existent. It doesn’t matter if the setting is weak or forgotten. And it doesn’t matter if you told the mood and emotion in the scene instead of showing it. All that matters is that you see the scene for what it is—a wealth of possibilities.

It’s not until we step back and evaluate the potential in the scene (or photo) that we can transform our load of cr*** into something magical, something that speaks to us. When I took the above photo, I had an image in mind for the theme and mood of the picture. Unfortunately, I only had my point & shoot camera with me, and it didn’t share my vision. Not even close. But that’s okay. I converted the JPEG file to RAW (it’s the format professional photographers prefer to use) in Photoshop Elements*, and tweaked the settings to give me the image I had in mind. And voila!

©Stina Lindenblatt

Obviously, you can’t try the same trick with your writing. What you can do is identify the theme, mood, emotion of the scene, and brainstorm words that evoke the image you have in mind. Go crazy. Write everything down, then highlight those words that belong to your character’s voice. Now, weave the words into your setting description to create the mood and emotion you’re after. But remember, less is more. A dash adds flavor. Too much and you leave a bitter taste in your reader’s mouth.

What are some tricks you use to make a scene stronger? When you end up with a photo like the first one, do you find ways to make it better, or do you delete it and pretend it never existed?

*Just use ‘Open As’ in Photoshop Elements, and open your JPEG photo as a RAW file. You can then easily adjust for exposure, brightness, clarity, color saturation, etc, to get the image you’re looking for.

editing, emotion, mood, and more:

Finding Magic in Doggie Doo (Aka Your Writing) + photography tips