Wednesday, April 15, 2015

photo stories and a note on writing intimacy

In a written story, intimacy can be communicated through a variety of things, in a variety
of places, via a variety of senses, but in utilizing these, it's most important for the sake of
the reader for something unique to be communicated, something past cliche, something
impossible to grasp if the scene were portrayed on film.  This is the power of words, after
all, to tell a story - a truth - better than most other mediums can.

See these examples:

He moved his fingers down her whole spine, one by one by one, and during the time it took
to do that, his brain remained absolutely quiet.  It is these empty spaces you have to watch
out for, as they flood up with feeling before you even realize what's happened; before you
find yourself, at the base of her spine, different.
- The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, Aimee Bender

Unthinkingly I straightened, so that she would think better of me.  Such was her presence.
- The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, N.K. Jemisin

The skin of her hand looked transparent in the light, on the edge of his desk, a young girl's
hand with long, thin fingers, relaxed for a moment, defenseless.
- Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand

He wants only her stalking beauty, her theater of expressions.  He wants the minute and
secret reflection between them, the depth of field minimal, then foreignness intimate like
two pages of a closed book.  He has been disassembled by her.  And if she has brought
him to this, what has he brought her to?
- The English Patient, Michael Ondaatje

So, these photos.  What could words add to the storytelling present in these photos?  How
could words take these images of intimacy from slightly distant to up-close, vivid,
unforgettable?  What might be said beyond describing the light, the assumed sensations
of touch?  What details might be added to take a scene from typical to truly intimate,
almost disarmingly so for the reader?

By Hana Haley

By Aubry Rose Aragon

By Irina Munteanu

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