Thanks for hosting me on your blog, Neil. Today I’m sharing three ways in which writing can be made to have more impact and vibrancy.
This post was inspired by a question asked in the FWBA (For Writers, By Authors) group on Faebook about how to make the writing more visual. There are innumerable pointers for doing that but I’m going to be brief here and share what I think is important.
It’s common these days to hear advice about taking out adverbs and adjectives and many of the adjuncts to make the writing crisp and direct. I don’t agree with that entirely. That’s because when we read we don’t just want to know Y happened after X and before Z. If all we have is the dialogues and the action, it would seem as though we are reading a film script. A book comprises much more. It allows us to give wings to our imagination and visualize according to our understanding.
At the same time, it is also true that we no longer have the luxury of leisure and even in our reading we want to get to the story as fast as possible.
Here are three pointers which I feel can enhance your writing while keeping it from getting weighty, descriptive or ponderous.
Keep it simple and action oriented.
This is what I’m increasingly doing now in my writing and I’ve found it works great in maintaining reader interest. Instead of using elaborate phrases and descriptions, keep your writing really simple and just describe what is happening. Think of it like a movie scene unfolding before you. I know it sounds contradictory to what I said before but really it isn’t. Let me explain. Those scenes in a movie in which you get close ups – they are the cue for us to write the emotional reaction of the character. Here’s where you can show your writing skills and have the reader tune into your character’s experience real up close. This will serve the purpose of internalization or giving emotional depth to your character and their conflict. Stick to bare description elsewhere. That keeps your focus on your plot. I also find that once I begin to describe simply what is occurring, the words find cadence more naturally.
Use metaphors while looking through the characters’ lens.
Metaphors are a lovely way to enhance your writing. A beautiful way to use metaphors is to filter them through your character’s experience. For example: your character who is a teacher in small school might describe an irritation like the sound of chalk squeaking across the blackboard. Whereas, if your character is a racing driver, it would be more appropriate for them to feel it like the squealing of tires on sudden braking. Think of creative ways in which you can add interesting comparisons.
More dialogue. Less description.
Dialogue gives pace to your writing. We read more quickly and visualize better if the characters are deep in conversation. A tip is to use 40% narration: 60% dialogue. This is what editors are looking for these days from what I hear.
Hope you found this post useful. Do you agree writing should be simple and not too descriptive? Do you agree with other pointers in this post? Do share what you like to do to make your writing more striking.
About the author:
Summerita Rhayne is a romance author who has written in historical and contemporary genres. She loves to explore emotional conflicts in her stories.