I’m a highly excitable person at times. The fact that a few people have liked/followed me on two of my blogs in less than a day overwhelms me. I’m like a ferret in a room full of hamster wheels. How ever shall I run on them all at once to generate energy for my house?!
Like I said. It’s overwhelming. I’m still trying to get the hang of this blogging/writing/ranting thing (okay, I do that part pretty well). I suppose, here I shall say some things about my friend’s book.
What I Like in a Book
An element of mystery. We all love it. The tug of the author’s hand pulling you along, telling you just read one more page; it doesn’t matter if it is 4:33 in the morning. We have all experienced this. And we love it. We, as writers and lovers of reading, live for it. However, this is one of the most complex devices you can use in your writing. So how do you do it?
Quick tip: don’t divulge too much at once. Don’t tell the reader what the person on the phone call said. For example:
Not as cool: Hanson picked up the phone. It was Ralphleckson. He was calling about the party tonight, and Hanson knew he was in for a treat. He would wear his banana clip yellow rain boots and bring along a glitter stick.
Totally cool: Hanson picked up the phone hastily, nodding his head. Emerson stared at him as he rapidly hung up, grabbing his banana clip yellow rain boots and glitter stick before bursting out the door.
“I’ll be back later! ” Hanson cried with enthusiasm. Emerson went back to reading about transcendentalism, shaking his head.
Now, in the second example, I have only left off that he is going to a party. However, this is a crucial detail. It leaves the reader wondering, turning the page rapidly- because who doesn’t like to know what event could possibly call for banana clip yellow rain boots and glitter sticks?!
Many people have a hard time with this. I am fortunate enough to not see words when I read- I see pictures. Therefore, finding holes in imagery is very easy for me. We’ve all looked at some do’s and do not’s for imagery. So why am I about to write about this? Because imagery is unbelievably important. Especially in escapist fiction (fantasy, etc), the reader wants to be drawn in. They want to feel the searing blade. They want to feel the cool rain. They want to feel the tender lips of Edward Cullen. Let’s look at some examples, starting with imagery of people.
Do not: the tears streamed down Amelie’s face when the doctor called, saying her father had not survived the operation.
Do: Amelie felt her throat catch and she choked, gasping for air. Her father was dead. Her heart seized and she put her hands to her face as tears poured ferociously down.
We’ll cover imagery of people more later. I notice people tend to be fine with this, so I won’t drill it too hard. What people have a really hard time with is the imagery of places.
Do not: the room was massive, with sweeping bookcases. Lamps were on all the tables, and the room had an air of elegance. (Tip: make the reader feel the elegance).
Do: the mahogany bookcases swept skyward, nearly embracing the ceiling. The leather bound books were ancient. As the gold leafing glinted in the soft glow cast from the lamps on the matching tables, Rachel was overtaken by the grandeur of the room.
These are very simple examples, but hopefully effective.
Well, that’s all for now! I plan on incorporating more examples of imagery and other techniques in writing. Keep up with my posts for helpful tips on grammar.