An Eye for Detail
I have given myself a present that has been on my wishlist for years: a zoomlens for my digital photocamera. Attaching it to my camera, I learnt quickly that I needed to adjust the way I take pictures. Zooming in on detail means a steady hand. It also narrows your focus, blurring out the greater picture.
It is a technique that I can appreciate in written texts as well. When focussing on a character, zooming in to his or her world, the greater story and plot become blurred into the background. There is no need to know about the rise and fall of empires when your character’s utmost concern is to make it through the night in one piece. Similarly, the reader’s main concern will be with that night and the protagonist’s survival. He does not need to know in this particular scene that in distant land X the people are rioting in the streets.
Often I try to spread my attention too wide which makes it hard to focus at all. So, just like in photography, I will try to change my ‘lens’ in writing a bit more often. Zooming in at the detail and leave the rest a blurry image until it is time to change the focus once more.
I had wanted to show you incredible pictures but I decided to do some much neglected homework instead. I’ll leave you with these to illustrate my point: