Greetings, Wizard Writers!
For a few moments, let’s pretend we’re artists. Not writers, but those who paint pictures using acrylics, oil paints, and watercolors. As painters, we would attempt to catch true colors in nature, fleeting facial expressions, or the perfect reflections of light against a red apple. Using our mind’s eye, let’s try to envision the world as a painter might see it. How do those waves sweep the shore? How do those clouds pop against the sky? How do you catch the movement of trees in the breeze? Take a few minutes to think on everything you see, and try to imagine how you’d paint those images . . .
Now, let’s go back to being writers. As artists who use words to paint pictures on a page, we use different tools than a painter, but as you saw above, our mental processes are the same. While sometimes these images are easy for us to paint on a page, sometimes we struggle and need the help of different writing techniques or methods of analysis. Below, please find a few ways to help your mind transfer images and concepts to words, making magical pictures on the page for your readers.
Use Language to your Advantage
1. Consider adding adjectives and adverbs to a sentence to enhance the prose
2. Make a list of “beautiful” and “ugly” words to use in writing (Example: crystalline, enchanted, symphony/decrepit, grotesque, rancid)
3. Consider alternate punctuation (Example: exaggerate with an em dash. “A banana—rotten on the table.”)
4. Use similes and metaphors to call attention to a phrase or set it apart for emphasis (Example: Clouds as big as elephants)
5. Use analogies and comparisons to provide a different level of understanding for the reader
6. Use symbolism (Example: clock = time passing)
7. Use strong nouns and verbs. Instead of “the horse ran,” opt for “the stallion galloped.”
Use The 5 Senses
Using the five senses—smell, taste, touch, sight, and sound—helps bring images to the minds of your readers. For example, you might use unexpected images through the sense of sight, or you might choose to create a bold scene through a combination of taste and smell. This is especially useful when writing about restaurants or natural settings or even memories. The sense of scent is strongly linked with memories, so use that to your advantage for nostalgic pieces. Also, be aware of associations; for example, not everyone likes the smell and taste of chocolate. Make lists of different sounds (pop, giggle, buzz) as this will also help draw a reader into a scene.
Observation and Analysis
1. Pay attention to everything around you (For example: What tiny details do you see in the ceiling? Which way is the grass blowing today? What colors do you see most in the sky? Think about your observations when you write out a scene)
2. Keep a journal (Consider writing about little things you observe or your daily thoughts on specific topics. Here is a link to my article on different types of journals: http://thewizardofwriting.blogspot.com/2018/03/the-wizards-spellbook-how-to-construct.html)
3. Analyze situations (Ask yourself: What’s truly going on here?)
4. Mind Map (Draw a circle in the center of a page and insert a word. Then, draw lines extending from that circle and come up with connected words. What patterns do you see? How can you use these words or concepts?)
5. Go for a “writer’s drive” or a “writer’s walk” and jot down what you see along the way
Consider drawing up a daily weather log and writing down different weather patterns and visuals. How do snow flurries look at night? How do raindrops sound against your windows? How does the sun strike your backyard?
I hope you enjoyed this week’s edition of The Wizard of Writing!