We may not have all of the organization down pat, but boy is it fun to take imaginary journeys with a huge variety of loot and still wear the princess ribbons.
Do your scenes have rich visual imagery from a variety of sources?
Readers experience books by escaping into an imaginary world with rich visual imagery. The richer the image, the stronger the impression.
Rich visual imagery doesn’t mean a half page of setting dump. No, readers like me would just turn the page to get to the action. I learned a few tips from Susan May Warren about developing the story world that helped me generate the questions below. Visual imagery can be a simple as including the answers to five strategic questions. Let’s give it a try.
Five Strategic Questions:
1. What is the mood of your scene in one word?
2. What objects in the scene can show that mood?
3. What verbs could you use to show a mood nuance?
4. How can you include the five senses in the scene connected to action?
5. What is one object in the scene that could be used symbolically or as a metaphor?
2. rattle, gallop, teetered, choked, gasp, jagged, fraying, flailed
3-4. sight – door knob rattles
sound- heavy breathing
taste – day old gum, dry
texture- orange t-shirt clung to her like a prison jumpsuit
smell- moth balls mingled with sweat
5. Moth flapping against the light
Story Clip Possibility:
Please, don’t find me. Kelly pressed her back to the closet wall, curling her body into her chest. The smell of moth balls mingled with sweat perfumed her sticky clothing. She covered her mouth with shaky hands to mask her jagged breathing. Heavy boots clomped in the hallway.
Please just go away.
Away. A place she hadn’t been for the past six months.
Her heart pounded against her prison orange T-shirt. No way out. Just like the moth that flailed against the light bulb overhead. She pressed her fingers into her eye sockets. Could it be just a dream?
The door knob rattled, fraying her nerves like claws on a chalkboard. Escape meant nothing in the four walled closet. Imprisoned by the wood floor and old garments that hung overhead. She licked her lips. Her mouth tasted of weeks old gum she’d found in one of the coat pockets, dry and chalky.
A key turned the lock and the door swung open. Run.
This is just a small story clip. It needs fleshing out, but you get a sense for how to use the questions to guide your writing. This clip above needs a few edits still, but that is the nature of a rough draft.
Take a paragraph or two of your own scene and try this same method. Post a few paragraphs below.