WHEN I THINK of writing as a whole, I think of art, film and music as well. Each has a complimentary aspect to the writing craft. A picture can inspire a story. Even film at it’s foundation is not the moving image, but the written script. Music can evoke emotions that can enhance the writing process too.
Just for fun I want to take a look at what each medium brings to the Table of Story and what comparisons can be made as my analytical mind is let off the leash:
- Art – A picture either talks to you or it doesn’t, something about the colours, the subject matter and lay out. A picture is quite an immediate thing – Bam! – you see it, and you like it or you don’t. I have no science to back up how long that process is, but I imagine it is within the first few seconds, much how we appraise a new person we meet.
- Music – A step up from a picture or painting, one record tends to last around 3 minutes, a short time to assess it. Writing is often a 50% partner to the beat in forming the lyrics. Again, we tend to know by the end of the song, if not ten seconds in whether it is for us or not. But the time it takes is relatively fast, and music is probably the most virulent form of entertainment in terms of number of people it reaches.
- Film – A feature film is like a condensed book (and often is!). We have to watch it for over an hour+ in order to get the story, and we are breaking down the good and the bad as the run time expires. Time is invested and essential to determine how we rate a movie. In other words we have to spend time immersed in watching it to appreciate it fully, whether that is good, bad or mediocre.
- Books – Writing takes times to digest. I’m not sure what the average time to read a book is but I’d guess around the 8 hour mark. That is a severe investment in time. Novels are time hungry compared to the other media listed above and only you can read and turn the pages (forgetting audible etc). It takes longer to reach the reward of the end.
So, from art’s immediacy, you have musics’s accessibility and equally short digestion time. Film, takes us on an extended journey but with a significant investment of our attention, and books follow on with an even greater need of our time and the scale of a story can take us places unreachable by any other media.
They are related however. Books tell us stories, but so can a painting, a music track (especially hip hop) and film of course is predicated on doing what books do also. Are books the ultimate story telling format, because there is nothing extra beyond the words. No music can be added to add meaning or build tension. Your imagination builds the story world, all images are copyright to you. Everyone who reads a story, will have a different idea of what it looks like in their mind which in itself, is pretty incredible.
Disagree? Think I’m talking out of a certin place other than mouth? Have something to add? Please do.