INSIDE THE ART, CRAFT AND BUSINESS OF WRITING for Film, TV, Books, Stage, Print or Digital Media (with Particular Attention to Comedy)

7 Ways to Use Visual Elements in Your Writing

The Eyes Have It

Writer-Director David Lynch develops a film by coming up with 50 memorable images.

That obviously works for a screenplay because movies are a visual medium, but it’s also very effective for any novel or work of non-fiction. And you don’t need 50. Consider all elements of your project that have a visual aspect:

1.  Objects

2.  Clothing

3.  Physical Qualities of Characters

4.  Locations

5.  Environmental Details

6.  Events

7.  Visual Metaphors

Visual motifs create continuity. They help make a project coherent, vivid and memorable for the reader.

Objects = Emotions

In film and literature, objects equal emotions. Think about what the object represents to you, what it means to various characters and how else it can be used in the story.

In “The Hunger Games”, the mocking-jay pin becomes a symbol of the bond between Katniss and her sister, then the birds themselves become a symbol of the bond between Katniss and her ally in the games, plus a practical tool for them to communicate with each other: a symbol that is visual, tactile and auditory.

– –

Material excerpted from “How To Be A Writer Who Writes“.


Brilliant art is “The Eyes Have It“, found on Tumblr, but unable to attribute the artist. Please contact me with any info.

2 comments on “7 Ways to Use Visual Elements in Your Writing

  1. Noel T. Reid
    March 7, 2013

    Perhaps, auspiciously, semiotics is the name of the game here. I also think that interpretively, any flinching (such as gesturing) can evoke emotion.

  2. Pingback: Close and Distant Reading Reflection – COR 301

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on March 6, 2013 by in Creative Process and tagged .
%d bloggers like this: