Blog 4 - Expository - Panoramic Writing

      Expository writing means "exposing" the surroundings for the sake of finding meaning. 

      Think about it: you have seen the movie where the camera starts far away from the subject it will eventually focus upon (called a Long Shot, incidentally).  The shot creates suspense: we don't know what's coming; we don't know where we are going; we don't know what the camera has in mind.  

     Then the camera moves . . . it flies over a valley, past a lake, through a forest, down a path, over the heads of villagers, and closes in on a doorway.  The camera stops.  The door opens.  And the camera, juggling as of held by hand, wobbles its away to a table where we find a man with one eye, dirty fingernails, and a tattered shirt sitting, arms folded, the heel of his hand pressing his cheek upward into a bubble.  Sitting in front of him, an empty bowl and a bloody towel.

     Without saying a word, the camera has given us a panoramic story (moving from far away to narrow).  The camera's movement tells us everything (the landscape, the people, the door) other than this subject (the man) is secondary to the man and the towel.  As writers, we need to be able to have such global perspective: in other words, we have to show the world around the subject.  Often times, just by touching on a subject, you give a picture of the story.  


Describe this picture (what might happen next?) in a punchy way -- brief, but concise.  Description is a rhetorical device.  Description paints a picture.  Description is the camera.  So, your job?  Move the viewer toward the subject (going large to small).  As you do so, your description will help to develop mood (feelings within the text) and tone (meaning of the text).

Before doing this, do Device 6 Section in Literary Devices Workbook and utilize it in your writing.   When you use this device, WRITE THE SENTENCES IN ALL CAPS -- that will show me you understand the concept.

© Jeff Thomas 2011 -