Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Painting a Picture

By Connie S. Hall

Psalms 115:5-7
Eyes have they, but they see not:
They have ears, but they hear not:
noses have they, but they smell not:
They have hands, but they handle not:

Have you ever finished writing a story, and then months later realized you left something out? I recently did this. I carefully described the things my character saw, heard, and touched, but now I realize although there were many occasions where I could have inserted the taste or smells of something I didn’t do it.

I know a good writer can skillfully transport the readers with the use of descriptions to the same place as the characters in the book. Readers want the characters to come to life. They don’t want to read about the world you've created, they want to see, hear, smell, touch and taste it. When you want to bring a story to life, you need to turn to your senses. They will describe the emotions and attitudes of your characters.

Concentrate on your choice of words so that your reader will have the illusion of actually being there. Then write about it in vivid detail using all five senses. To help yourself do this make a list of different words you can use, comparisons, metaphors, and similes you can make. Do this exercise anytime you come across a description in your writing that isn’t very exciting or is cliché.

I guess its back to the drawing board for me. Except I don’t draw or paint, I use words to describe the things I want my readers to see.

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