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How The Image Moment Can Be a Powerful Tool

Using The Image Moment, a Method Writing Tool for non-fiction work

This article explains more about the Image Moment structure and elements

I was asked recently if this tool could be used in non-fiction

The simple answer is YES! I’ve used image moment in emails and the memoir I’m

I will even use it in an email if I’m wanting to set the scene

It takes a moment for people to ‘get present’, to let go of their busy life and

Like this “If you’ve never been in a prison let me just set the scene for

Crackles and foreign instructions blare out from prison communication radios

I want my audience to smell the burnt toast, hear the noise, visualise the grey

I want them to understand what it feels like to be in a prison

Once the scene is set I would then go on to tell whichever story or point I

Knowing that my audience are feeling something from my description

A big badass guy stood in front of me, his beady eye on the group room

The heavy prison belt with its keys and radio rubbed at my hips through my black leggings

The shouts and bangs and loud music were relentless in their attack on my ears

Sweat ran down my back under my blue polo shirt, my eyes desperate to find his name

A bright red button poked out from under his big feet encased in big brown workers’ boots

Again, non-fiction but I set the scene for the reader by describing what I’m seeing and

So much more powerful than my initial attempt “I was petrified, it seemed just like the TV

Did you wonder what I would say to him? We want the reader to see the moment

Also, do you notice that nothing happens between the line, “I wanna see the chicks, miss

And in-between the two lines of dialogue NOTHING substantial happens

We can hear background noises, we can feel the rubbing of the prison radio but there is

Nothing of consequence happens that would distract the reader

The Image Moment does not have to be as long as the above passage

Meanwhile, I wanted to mention that a scattering of Image Moments, with maybe one or two elements,

I stared at myself in the black rimmed mirror above the fireplace

We get a sense of the relationship between the girl and her dad from that small moment

Conversely, one of the exercises in Jules Swales’ classes¹ is to write a story with JUST an

There is always more to learn and I am still on that journey, however, now is the

If you want to know more about how to use IM check out the resources below