Communicator (communicator) wrote,
Communicator
communicator

The moving image and the moving text

Two quotes that have given me pause for thought over the past week. They are both about the contrast between text and film, and the task of writing.

Samuel Delaney

How, for example, does the work of reading a nar­rative differ from watching a film? In a film the illusion of reality comes from a series of pictures each slightly different. The difference represents a fixed chronological relation which the eye and the mind together render as motion.

Words in a narrative generate tones of voice, syntatic expectations, memories of other words and pictures. But rather than a fixed chronological relation, they sit in numer­ous inter- and over-weaving relations. The process as we move our eyes from word to word is corrective and revisionary rather than progressive. Each new word revises the complex picture we had a moment before...

A sixty thousand word novel is one picture corrected fifty-nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine times.


Read the whole essay here. may post more about it later. Thanks to jlundberg for this link.

nihilistic_kid on bad writing.

Good writing is that writing that reflects the recognition that words are the medium of storytelling, mood setting, information flow, and reader manipulation. (Bad) writing is that writing which reflects a belief that words are a poor substitute for whatever Ideal medium of storytelling the author would prefer to use. Frequently, these days, the Ideal medium is The Movie, but the Instant Psychic Download That Allows The Reader To Imagine What The Author Imagined is still the most popular Ideal medium out there.

He uses a couple of examples including (what else) The Da Vinci Code to illustrate bad writing.

I think both these fellows are making very important points. A writer isn't a film maker who can't get funding.
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