and now … (same evening as prior post) …

January 3, 2009 § 7 Comments

I’m tearing through my stack of magazines. Yay. Magazine justice will be done, the pile will be whittled and I’ll have a stack of pages (text, cartoons, whatever) to use for scrapbooking or some “paper” project that’s visual.

Don’t you find that writing sometimes and somehow needs a visual component as well?

What do you do to satisfy your urge to produce something visual or, something that people can enjoy without having to read it?


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§ 7 Responses to and now … (same evening as prior post) …

  • seachanges says:

    Oh – absolutely: I’ve started taking photographs and intend to do more ‘visuals’ this year – they can be so expressive! I admire your enthousiasm for going the full way in your creativity!

  • shoreacres says:

    Pondering your question led to snooping led to a new phrase for my growing vocabulary: visual rhetoric. There’s a good wiki for it, and several interesting blog entries. Here’s a synopsis of points I found in various posts:

    Readers expect visual aspects of texts on computer screens and paper to be given more attention than in the past. Learning to analyze and use visual elements is critical for effective communication.

    We have a greater variety of texts in our culture today,including online newspapers, magazines, academic texts and journals, graphic novels, scientific visualizations, three-dimensional animated web pages, and music videos. Different meanings result from different visual formats. Analyzing and experimenting with the visual rhetoric of our texts will make our work more accessible and memorable.

    In short, writing not only needs a visual component, writing (especially on the internet)is by its very nature visual. I think the decisions we make in terms of our cyber-appearance are critical.

    One tiny example. My first blog was at Weather Underground, and I maintain a presence there.
    A very high percentage of folks on the site greet one another, comment on entries, and carry on discussion through the use of glittergraphics, myspace graphics, etc. I’m sure I’m known by a number of highly uncomplimentary names because I war against those graphics in my comments section. Unless something is directly and obviously related to the discussion thread, it goes bye-bye. I’m very upfront and clear about the whys and wherefores (particularly my conviction that post and comments form a single entity) and it’s an educational process. (My pre-Christmas entry was a full parody called “The Grinch Who Stole Graphics”).

    But my point: even in the comments sections, what people SEE communicates as directly as any words.
    A blog full of glittergraphics is going to trigger certain assumptions about content and quality.

    Marshall McLuhan would love it.

  • oh says:

    SC – Love pictures and look forward to yours but honestly, your writing paints so much.

    Linda – wow! Visual rhetoric – thanks for checking out all you’ve included. Once again, you are opening doors! I look forward to following up on the wiki stuff and more. Loved the reference to McLuhan!

  • Tumblewords says:

    A vivid story, believable, tense and more than a little frightening because of it’s truthability. Great work! And, yes, visual (read color) is something I use a lot to stir my cells!

  • eBookGuru says:

    I think that visual elements can be extremely important to writing.

    To answer the second question – on occasion I make videos for the times when teaching can be accomplished better that way than with writing.


  • jeanie says:

    I could have sworn I commented on this and the post below. Maybe not. The dial-up kills me. But I loved both the one about the SNOBS (which I must read) and this one, which is inspiring me to do the same. I have magazine overload and it’s making me crazy!

    Often as a starter for a writing exercise, I will look at something on my desk. A photo of Rick and me mayend up being a poem about us — or maybe about two people sitting on a rock n front of a choppy lake… The whimsical clown on my calendar has a magical tale of his (or her) own. Yes, visuals help. Big time!

  • oh says:

    Tumblewords – thank you for stopping by! and for your comment on the “scribblings” story. Glad to hear your opinion on “visual” with writing because it’s becoming a big thing with me and I was curious about what others were discovering.

    Trevas – so combining visual with text would help me segue better into internet writing, yes? Interesting that you do videos for teaching sometimes. So you need a story AND the “movie.” Sounds like an excellent tool, especially to engage a class.

    Jeanie – No worries! Always good to hear from you. SNOBS is a skinny book; I can send it when finished! ANd glad to hear your spin on “visuals”! I am struggling with a piece I’m writing now and would love to have a visual “prompt” but alas, there is nothing suitable (it’s a book review.)No, maybe that’s not true – it’s about restaurants in New Orleans. Maybe I’ll call up a picture of Antoine’s Restaurant in NOLA. Thanks for the tip/idea!

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