In addition to writing I love photography. I consider them linked, as both are involved in catching moments. Photography captures the moments that are beautiful, important, artistic, sad, mundane, heartwarming, special, or horrific. Writing does the same thing. I wish I could snap every important moment, and more than a few of the small ones that seem unimportant at the time.
Today I was driving home from the grocery story and I drove across a bridge covering a railroad line. I rarely notice them, but this time I happened to look over and see a train passing underneath. I saw car after car filled with coal and immediately itched to have a camera in my hand.
At first glance it’s a simple moment – a train full of coal. But there’s so much meaning there.
To staunch environmentalists that is a horrific sight.
To the eye it was an ordered, artistic sight with a long line of identical cars stretched into the distance.
It could also symbolize progress, industry, the might of the people who put it on the move (including the one who flattened the peak on every last car).
Pictures with layers of meaning and symbolism always attract my attention. And I strive to bring the same to my writing – plot, characters, subtle moments, humor, societal issues, and so many other aspects make the story much more than a simple mystery, romance, or tragedy.