Tips on Writing Fiction with Compelling Photographic-like Imagery that Will Delight Readers

(PRWEB) February 26, 2014

The hallmark of great fiction is that a reader can visualize the scenes and people with such detail that they become unforgettable and part of the reader’s personal memories. In an essay “Writing with a Photographer’s Eye”, published on the What Is That Book About blog, master photographer and critically acclaimed author Sally Wiener Grotta gives advice on how to “texture a fictional narrative with imagery that readers can hold in their mind’s eye, as they get lost in the story.”

In the article, Grotta suggested trying this exercise.

Keep a notebook with you at all times
Write down descriptions of the most mundane things you see around you.
Have only one description per page.
Then, rewrite it and rewrite it again and again, unearthing all the physical details of that moment, place or thing.

“For instance,” explains Grotta. “Suppose you see sun shining through a window into an otherwise dark room. A photographer (and a good writer) will see much more than those basic facts. She might see stripes of light, creating a crosswalk pattern on the dusty, scarred old wood of the floor. Or, dust motes floating in the searing, sudden white beam that disappears when a cloud drifts by the window.”

Record only the physical, focusing only on what you can see — what a photographer might be able to capture, Eventually, the emotions will become evident from the physical.


Sally Wiener Grotta is the consummate storyteller, reflecting her deep humanism and appreciation for the poignancy of life. As an award-winning journalist, she has authored many hundreds of articles, columns and reviews for scores of glossy magazines, newspapers and online publications. Her latest novel, Jo Joe (Pixel Hall Press) is gaining a reputation for being a compelling story that reads, as one reviewer said, “like a movie that is playing in my mind.” Her most recent short story, “The Broken Bottle”, is available as a complimentary download until mid-March. Her next novel, “The Winter Boy”, will be published by Pixel Hall Press in autumn, 2014. Her prize-winning American Hands photography may be seen at


Pixel Hall Press is a relatively new, old-fashioned small publishing house whose focus is on discovering literary gems and great stories that might have otherwise been overlooked.

In this era of digital technology, Wall Street involvement and merger mania, mainstream publishers seem to have lost sight of the core principles and purpose of publishing. At the other end of the spectrum is an avalanche of self-published books that are notoriously uneven in quality. Small boutique imprints, such as Pixel Hall Press, are reclaiming the heart and soul of publishing by reviving the idea that a publisher’s raison d’être is to find and nurture great writers, and to provide readers with beautiful, meaningful, truly enjoyable books.

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