Hi, everyone. Okay, so we spent a lot of time talking about the overlap or what we could borrow from fiction when talking about true stories. So now I'm going to segue just slightly away from that, but I still want to keep a concept in your head and so this one we're going to talk about how do we train our eye to be like a filmmaker's? Now, again, I'm not talking that we're going to make things up but I'm talking about how does the eye as a writer decide what to include when we're describing something. So do you remember the list I asked you to do of 1 through 50 if you're 50 years old or 1 through 100 if you're 100 years old, and, of course, leaving some lines blank if you feel like nothing significant had happened in that year. Here's the thing. If only it was that easy just to list the things in our life. This happened, that happened, this other things happened. Here's my story, I'm giving it to you, the reader. But that's not what writing is about, that's what creative writing is about. It's about finding small moments, it's about finding details, it's about finding nuance. So what we're going to be talking about is the filmmaker's eye and how do we get that into prose. I want you to go back to the early memory. Your first memory that you wrote down. What did you include in that memory? Is it just action? Is it just I was walking down the street and I got lost and then a neighbor found me? Or are there details about maybe the way the light looked if that's something you remember or what you were wearing if that's something you remember. Maybe some you heard a sound, I'm not asking you to make it up. I'm asking to see if that in what you wrote there were any of these small details. There are details that you might remember and that you would put in the small detail. The question is, what have you put on the page? So what I'm asking is, that us, as a writer, we need to be able to see specifically what we've put on the page. We need to be able to take a step back and go, the reader knows nothing about me. They know nothing about my background. They know nothing about where I was. What have I actually put on the page. So do you remember the anecdote I was telling about wanting to be an actor, and what would I describe in this room? And what details would I choose. So those are all really important like what's the important detail. The questions is, is it on the page. And often writers think they'd given the reader so much, when really they haven't given the reader that much at all. So let's take a look at something. Imagine if this is what you were looking at. Totally black, you're not seeing anything. All you're hearing is the sound of my voice. You don't want a scene in your story to look like this. You want it to look like this, with the camera on, with all of these details being shown. So, here's a character from the story that you're writing. I want you to write in let's say 20 to 30 words. You can go longer if you want. I want you to describe this as a character in your story and what the physical descriptions are for the reader. Take as much time as you need. You just saw the silhouette. You wrote 20 to 30 words about it. Now I want you to take a look at what some of my students came up with when I gave them this exercise. It was late at the bar and the dim lights that lightened the dark old wood flickered in the face of the drunk. He had his face lying on the wood when the woman walked in. He could barely see her through the haze. All that he could see was her silhouette. From his point of view, she had her hair in a bun that was being covered by a scarf wrapped around her head. She wore elaborate earrings that dangled down to her shoulders. But that was all he thought. He was unsure, it could have been anyone, but needless to say he was confused as to what this mysterious figure was doing in a bar that was home to only a couple of regulars. The assignment was, or the exercise was, here's the character in your story, describe this character so the reader can see them. What do you think? Did the student successfully translate what was on the page into prose? Where did the author provide more than was actually there? Let's look at his excerpt again and let's see precisely what was rendered accurately. That's what we're looking for. I'm not talking about whether or not the pro's he wrote was good, I'm saying is what he did accurate to the image? Here it is again. So all of this comes out. What remains, specifically, are the physical characteristics. Her hair in a bun. Dangled down to her shoulders. He says elaborate earrings, but I don't think that's accurate. So something dangled down to her shoulders and then that's it. Everything else comes out, it wasn't about that you're in a bar. We don't see a bar there on the page, we don't see dim lights. I don't even know who this person is who's speaking. What I wanted to do was just know this is the person, this is the character, describe them for the reader to see, understand what's on the page. Here's another example of that same silhouette. I see a woman who is acutely aware of the camera being pointed at her. That is why strands of her hair are bouncing near her head. She has turned in order to address her viewer and they have fallen suddenly out of her bun. She cares about her appearance which is why she's tied up her hair in the first place. She wants to appear coy which is why her shoulders appear to be slanted. This is all an act. This is not a candid pose. Again, the prose is great but we're not talking about the prose. We're saying, is the silhouette rendered accurately? Let's look at what I've edited out. I see a woman who is acutely aware of the camera being pointed at her. That comes out, we don't know that. What we do know is strands of her hair are bouncing near her head, she has turned. Now the author put in in order to address her viewer, we don't know that either. She cares about her appearance, we don't know that. Tied up her hair, that we know, we can see that. She wants to appear coy, we don't know that. This is all an act, this is not a candid pose. If we're just looking for physical characteristics, all of that comes out, we're not trying to get inside of her head, none of that has been given to us, all right. Here's the last one. Here's the last attempt at it. Her hair is loosely tied into a bun, which rests on her head like a sloppy hill, with two strands of wavy hair dangling next to her cheeks. Her head is titled towards her left so that one of the strands touches her left shoulder. What do you think about that as being an accurate representation of what was on the page? For me, I gave that zero edits. I thought the student had trained her eye to see specifically what was being put there. Let me point out one thing too, the simile which is Which rests on her head like a sloppy hill. The simile, something looks like something else, that's helping the reader to see. The bottom line of all of this is that that silhouette, there really isn't all that much to describe. You don't want your character to look like the silhouette. You want your character in your story to look like this. Or like this. Or even like this. And to continue this with buildings. You don't want your building to look like this necessarily. But rather like this, or like this.