This weekend, thanks to a Facebook post by Susan Elizabeth Phillips, I found a really fun time sink app that lets you take a photo and make it look like a painting. Apparently there are several apps that do this (who knew?). The specific app Susan used is Painteresque™, for the Android and iPhone/iPad and, according to its website it:
“. . . makes photographic images more interesting and compelling because it . . . attempts to extract and intensify its most interesting and intelligible features.”
According to me, it’s a fun way to get a change of perspective. Depending on which of the filters/styles you choose to use (there are many to choose from), different aspects of the photo are emphasized. For example, in the photo above, the line of boats is the focal point. In the sepia-toned version to the right, without the distraction of the sharp reflection of the water, the details of the scene take on more emphasis, and in the black & white version below (my favorite, for the moment), the details are clear and balanced.
“Results for photos of people can be good or bad since it tends to bring out details rather than hiding them.” ~iTunes Store Picturesque App page
So, what does all this have to do with writing? Well, using my imaginary Writeresque™ tool, I can change my story perspective the same way. With the “Whose Story Is It” filter, I can change the character who owns the story which, as Jilly talked about in her Shiny New Story post on Sunday, changes which scenes occur and/or are emphasized, the perception of events, and the tone of the story. Using the “Genre” filter, I can change the story from a romance-with-elements-of-suspense to a mystery or a suspense-with-elements-of-romance tale. Whatever choice I make will change the overall feel and emphasis of the story, as will the “Humorous or Serious” filter.
Just like with the photo app, I can play with my choices until I get the end-result that looks just the way I want it, with the most interesting and compelling aspects emphasized. If I’m really lucky, I can uncover some details along the way that will make the story stronger and more exciting. After I convert a few more photos, that is.
What ways have you found to challenge your own perspectives?