Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Home is where the heart is

I’ve been delighted to discover that almost a year after I started my Gothic novel  - and my post on Melbourne’s architecture - I remain interested in buildings, both commercial and residential.

The first draft of my novel is almost complete, but I’m still intrigued by houses.

And lately it’s been an absorption with old and run-down dwellings, the desolate and the abandoned. 

I thought about the people who lived in and around these houses, some of them no more than shacks, and what they were like and whether they were good people or wicked, and whether they had dreams.

And I thought about where these people might be now. 

Are they dead, or very old?

And I couldn’t help feeling, when I wandered around these houses, that the souls of some of the inhabitants weren’t very far away. 

Or maybe I’ve just been working inside of a Gothic novel for too long...



Tuesday, 11 September 2012

A picture paints a thousand words

Last month I entered another photography competition, and one of the categories was emotive portraits.  As I am still a bit of a newbie at photography, I caught a train into the city to see what I could find. Clearly I don't go to the city often enough, because I found lots of interesting things including some people who I thought were good subjects.  I told them I was entering a competition, and everybody I spoke to was happy to let me photograph them.  Actually I was a little overwhelmed by the response.

I ended up submitting three portraits, and last week these all scored Bronze Awards. According to the Better Photography website, Bronzes are awarded for displaying some aspects of great photography. It means the judges can see more than just a snapshot and that the entrant is using the language of photography in a positive manner.  I wasn't too unhappy with the results. Compared with the amazing winning photographs on the website, mine are pretty ordinary. And the Bronze Awards are a start.  The challenge now is to elevate my photography skills to another level.

That aside, I’ve heard of writers finding a picture that most resembles the character they have in a story, cutting it out, and sticking it up next to their computers, so that they can see the character as they work.  It helps them to imagine how the character will react/respond to situations, and to remember, for instance, what colour his or her eyes are. 

I actually prefer not knowing exactly how my character looks.  I’ve got a pretty good idea, but it’s not cut and polished.  And I like that because I want the reader to use their imagination a little, to have their own concept of how a character looks. I don’t want them to be confined too much by my description. 

But what struck about this photography exercise is that I now have some piccies of interesting people.   

Characters I can think about putting into stories. 

Characters I can weave stories around. 

I’ve shared some of them here with you. And, yes, this last one is a LOL piccie. Who can resist a character with a face like this?