Monthly Archives: October 2014

Paint By Numbers Storytelling

I really, really didn’t want to write about writing. Unfortunately, something has gotten wedged in my brain that I simply can’t stand anymore, and I need to pry it out. So it’ll go here. Feel free to ignore it. Or not. Might entertain you some. It’ll definitely give you an insight into what you’ll be reading in Malakhim.


I really can’t stand Paint-By-Numbers storytelling.


In case you’ve never encountered it, paint-by-numbers is a method of painting in which general areas of a painting are assigned one of a few numbered colours. The participants are invited to fill in these colours, and thus produce a painting out of blocks of simplified colour. It looks like this:

Paint by Numbers software available here: http://www.softsea.com/screenshot/FRS-Paint-By-Numbers.html

Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with paint by number, as a rule. Using the technique you can produce some lovely images. It can be an enormously rewarding exercise, a way to build technique and understand how an image fits together. The same can be said of paint-by-number storytelling for skill development. Arranging familiar elements along familiar theme structures is one of many ways to learn. We don’t all have to do the equivalent of literary still-life, the world doesn’t need that much painted (or beautifully worded) fruit.

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