Writing description by using an image in your word processor

This is a pretty good system for writing description if you’re trying to describe something but aren’t quite sure what it looks like. I’m using it in an historical novel but it could also be used in a modern situation.
I want to describe the former Bowery Theatre in New York City and have downloaded an image of it and stored it in the downloads folder so that I can refer to it when I’m writing about it.
Meanwhile, I’m trying to describe it in my word processor.
So far so good.
I start to write something like ‘ The theatre was built in the classical style
I haven’t described it as the Greek classical style or the Roman classical style mostly because I have no idea what the difference between the two is.
Maybe there isn’t a difference; maybe the Romans copied the Greeks, or vice versa.
So I write something like this:
‘The theatre was built in the classical style; the facade consisted of four fluted columns – ’
Wait a minute! Did it really consist of four columns? Or did it consist of five or six columns?
I’d better get it right or sure as hell some nit picking historian with an in depth knowledge of fluted columns will complain about it.
I’d better check the image in the downloads folder.
So I minimise the word processor and open up the downloads folder, then take a look at the image.
Sure enough, it has four fluted columns.
Phew, what a relief!
I’ve escaped from the nit picking historian with an in depth knowledge of fluted columns!
At least for now, he added with a sense of trepidation.
After doing this for a while it finally dawns on me that this was a waste of valuable time.
Instead of constantly switching from the word processor to the downloads folder and back again, why not just import the image into my word processor?
This way, all I have to do is scroll up the page to look at it.

Author: Paul Gresham

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