Friday, February 8, 2013

Parrot Front and Center or Back Story First?

 My brother didn't call this parrot to come or have food in his hands. I think it surprised the bird as much as Dan when it landed on his head and he jumped. I'm just glad it picked at his hair and didn't need to do anything else.

 Kirby was amazed that this gorgeous bird flew to him. Big macho guy started making little birdie chirping noises. I laughed at the joy and antics these pretty little birds wrought.

Clicks from cameras and phones, laughter and squeals bounced around inside the bird cove while the happily fed creatures flew and dipped in the air.

Would you have kept reading if I had given the backstory first without showing the scene, action, characters first? 

Here's how it would have started. 

My brother, Dan, his wife and four boys and two of their girlfriends came to Florida for Christmas and we went to Busch Gardens. (Sigh, ho-hum, get on with it.) It was special because Dan is a missionary in Mexico, and it's difficult for them to come up often. And Kirby, one of their sons, is studying engineering in Germany, and he surprised his Mom and Dad by coming to FL. And the other three......(you get the idea, and you know as a reader it can be boring, but to me it was not.)

Therefore, ah hem, space out your back story when and only when the reader needs it for understanding or enhancement. Try this. Just take it out altogether and see if the story supports itself with more liveliness. Then only add what is needed, sprinkled about in your story.

Keep the parrot front and center.

You don't need to know the whole "back story" of the Bible to know it's truth and meaning.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:16

Keep the cross front and center.



Johnnie Alexander Donley said...

Karen, this is absolutely wonderful. You have such a gift for using your photographs to illustrate both writing and spiritual concepts. Tweeting your post now. said... of our best and you do so much with your photography. I love this post...even though story is something I struggle with...:-)

Karen said...

Thanks y'all. I love photos and sometimes, it DOES connect with what I'm trying to say. :)

Laura@OutnumberedMom said...

What a pretty parrot, too! I love that -- keep the parrot front and center! And now, how does Della fit in ... ??

Jean Wise said...

Man, I am late in commenting on this but what a wonderful lesson and as usual great photos. Love the one with the bird of the head.