Storytelling Guide: How Do You Make Pictures Fit into a Story?

Uncle Mike August 1, 2017

Improve the art of storytelling through the help of pictures



Last time, we talked about creating characters through pictures. We have also covered how to create a story. And now, on to the next challenge—how to make storytelling more stimulating.

Good stories are those that achieve their objective. Did they fulfill their purpose of why they were told? Good stories also stay with their listeners and readers for a long time. They are those that are remembered even if the teller has long passed this life. In the modern age and with the advent of technology, storytelling is given an interesting twist. Now readers can read with the accompaniment of pictures.

This method is especially popular among young readers. Children often have short attention span. So if one wants to grab their attention with stories and hopes to retain it until the end, then one needs a handy weapon. That is where pictures come in. Colorful, vibrant, lively, eye-catching pictures will likely do the trick. It is no wonder that most picture books are for children. Teachers, educators, and instructors can make use of this in guaranteeing the benefits of storytelling in the classroom. That is why writers and publishers must also be flexible in accommodating the trend.

So how do you make pictures fit into a story?

First, you must have an existing story. The pictures and illustrations can follow. If you have a light and heartwarming story, then you need illustrations that can evoke those kinds of feelings. Gentle pastel colors can do the trick. If your story is all about magic and adventure, then it will be wise to use bright and cheerful hues. However, if there is a hint of mystery, suspense, or horror, you should go for darker tones. Pictures should also suit your story.

Basic things like the gender of the characters, the physical appearance, and the settings must be in line with the concept. Everything must be consistent with the storyline. We cannot have pictures of computers and smartphones in a story set in the nineteenth century. Aside from the consistency, you should also make sure that pictures aid the progress of the story. They should complement and enhance the reading experience.

“Everyone could tell that the queen was not a woman by the razor-stubble face and hairy arms and chest.”—Quasar

You should not stop at using pictures to tell a story. You can also explore other innovative methods, like visual storytelling. This type of storytelling is relatively new, but the concept itself is as old as time. People of long ago left paintings in the cave, and that gave us an idea of how they possibly lived. Hieroglyphics made use of scripts that are pictographic in form. The pictures are there to tell the story and not simply to complement it.

There is also interactive storytelling. This is where the teacher provides the characters, settings, and elements but leave the plot to be experienced by the class. It ensures attention and exercises a classroom’s cooperation.

With all these to consider, the art of storytelling just became richer and fuller. It is up to you to make use of the resources available at your disposal. Remember that even something as ordinary as reading a story can be turned into a remarkable experience for readers if one applies the use of pictures to stimulate the mind, fuel the imagination, and hold the attention.

I hope you find this post helpful. Now, are you ready to try what you learned about storytelling? If you have any questions or comments, reach out to me through Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads. I’ll be happy to hear from you. You may also explore how I make images fit into story by delving through the pages of my book Quasar.

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