Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sidewalk Story: New Mini-Fiction Blog

Last week, I started a new blog called Sidewalk Story, a place for the photos and tiny stories I write almost daily. The words and pictures are like sketches, portraits, landscapes, and windows combined. While I love the sounds of words strung together, I am finding that more people respond to vivid imagery. The blog is where I am experimenting with merging two ways of writing—by sound and through sight—in prose under 200 words, and where I am exploring the word and image connection. Sometimes the photo is the prompt for the story. Sometimes I have a story in mind but simply need the right image to heighten the mood. Just like in bookmaking, the word/picture combination can do one of at least four different things. Some random examples:
  1. Illustrate something already described in detail. Story about a huge oak tree. Picture of a huge oak tree.
  2. Give a more specific image. Story about a bird. Picture of a sparrow on a mailbox.
  3. Be a metaphor. Story about a library. Picture of a shelf of cereal boxes.
  4. Be a contrast or abstraction that changes how you see something. Story about a boat. Picture of a floating leaf or floating trash.
Scott McLeod has a more complete description in his books Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels (p. 130), and Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art (pp. 153-155). The books are quite valuable to those who make and teach book art as well as those who create comics or graphic novels. A summary of his thoughts:
  1. Word-Specific: pictures show a detail, but words could stand alone
  2. Picture-Specific: words add clarity
  3. Duo-Specific: they do and say the same thing
  4. Intersecting: they work together, but each contributes new info
  5. Interdependent: new idea formed by the combination
  6. Parallel: two different thoughts
  7. Montage: words and images combined in one picture
I welcome your comments about the stories here at this post as Tumblr does not support comments unless you have an account with them. Sidewalk Story is open, however, so that anyone can read.

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