Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday's Photolife--Reflections

The picture I used in Wednesday's post (the flags reflected in the WWII memorial) made me think of talking about the importance of keeping the possibilities of reflections in mind when taking pictures. Personally, I love reflections. They make great abstracts or often increase the impact of the original. (Pictures from our recent trip to DC)
Any reflective surface will do. Here's one from the Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian.
An airplane engine reflecting the trees outside and the museum across the mall.
The capital.
Sometimes the reflection alone says something lovely.
The Washington, DC temple. Combining the juxtaposition (ode to Candice's post) of natural and geometric/man-made elements and reflections.

Applying it to writing? Is it nice to use a reflection in our writing when appropriate? We need to be careful not to overuse them, but I think they can be effective. I understand that agents don't like them at the beginning because they are kind of cliché, but how about later? I have one later in my WIP when my MC is freaked out and runs to the bathroom, splashes water on her face and looks at her reflection. What do you think? Does that sound okay?

11 comments:

T. Anne said...

I think your Wip reflection sounds more than OK. I like it.

Tess said...

absolutely okay.

and, love the pic friday. my favorite is the capitol - no, the temple - no, the capitol.

ah, I can't decide. both so pretty :D

Tamika: said...

Sounds great! Well written reflections can be as lovely as the pictures, beginning, middle, or end.

But middle is a nice twist.

Cindy said...

I LOVE the last picture. I agree that reflections can be okay in writing it they're placed appropriately. Sounds like yours works!

I have one kind of early in mine and I'm still thinking about it. But the girl looks drastically different from when she's younger and she's fooled the man she loves (who knew her when she was younger) into believing she's someone else. She's sort of analyzing who she is now compared to who she used to be.

Lady Glamis said...

Ah, so you're talking about literal reflections. I have a figurative reflection in Monarch - Devan is a reflection of both Nick and Lilian. I sure hope it works because it's pretty cool if it does. I guess we'll see.

Lovely pics! Now why couldn't they have had that pool filled when we went there? Sigh.

Jessie Oliveros said...

I haven't even thought about this. And agents don't like reflections? Is it because describing the character's physical description is too cliche? Well, now I must find a place in my novel to insert reflection.

Joe Iriarte said...

I've heard that agents don't like reflections as a way to jam in a physical description of the character while staying in first person or tight third. But if you're doing it for some other reason, like to comment on his or her state of mind, I don't see why that should be the problem. Also, a character could be looking at a reflection, not of him- or herself, but of something else. I can't think of a reason in the world why anybody's have a problem with that. In fact, I like the idea a lot.

lotusgirl said...

Thanks for your comments. Somedays I get worried about what I'm choosing to put it the old WIP.

I'm glad you liked the pictures. I get a lot of joy out of taking them.

Cindy, I like your reflection. I think it works.

Glam, yep. I knew you would have a more subtle reflection than mine. It was nice having the pool, and it worked well even though it was raining. I was standing under the overhang of the visitor's center to get the shot.

Jessie, I don't think we have to use reflections. If they don't flow naturally I think you're better off without them.

Joe, I think you're right that agents don't like them as a way to describe the MC. I like the idea of looking at a reflection of something else. Hmmm. I may have to use that sometime.

Ann Victor said...

Your photos are fabulous! Must share with my husband (who is the photobuff in our house - I just get to carry all the lenses and bits and pieces that weigh a ton!)

Re reflections in stories. If it's right for the story then it'll "work". Your writer's instinct will tell you when you shouldn't be using a reflection scene.

PJ Hoover said...

Love the pics! I've been wondering the same thing recently about reflections later in a ms. Is that okay? I would totally shy away from them in the beginning because they seem very description motivated, but are they okay later on? Let me know what you decide :)

Solvang Sherrie said...

My current WIP has a character looking at his reflection and thinking about his actions. I think it works. After all, even if we're not vain we look in the mirror every day :D