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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Guest Blog: Emma Paul: Writing in Color...

Writing in color is exactly what I strive for when I sit down to work on another story.

Did you ever hear someone say, “Wow, that story just jumped off the page!”

No? Well okay neither have I. Although I have heard stories described as “vivid”, “imaginative” or “colorful”.


What exactly makes a story 1. Vivid, 2. Imaginative and 3. Colorful.

Well, I honestly do not claim to be an expert on the formula that puts these three components into writing, but I have been told that I create some pretty vivid, imaginative, colorful stories.

I think that makes me a bit qualified to let you know how I Write in Color…

Definition of Vivid: producing a strong or clear impression on the senses sharp, intense ; specifically producing distinct mental images < a vivid description.

Basically, that means we need to make the story “Jump off the page”, heh…

One thing I’ve learned, is that action really does speak louder then words.

How does this work in a story?

For me I find that writing an action before dialogue, creates an “impression” or image of the scene unfolding. Something that I feel Dialogue tags just don’t do. Also it eliminates the need for the “as” sentence to put the scene in motion.

For example, read this dialogue scene:
The shop’s door was left unlocked, yet Amy knew she locked it the last night after her shift. Walking to the phone, she noticed the register drawer opened and the candy display scattered all over the floor.

“Hello Mr. Parker, it’s Amy, I think someone broke into the store last night!” She said frantically as her eyes darted around finally seeing the evidence of a robbery.

Okay so this scene, written like this, does tell us quite a bit of what is going on. We know Amy works at the story. She was the last to leave. Mr Parker is her Boss. And there is evidence of a burglar. It tells us all this but does it really paint a “vivid” picture of what the author is trying to show?

I certainly don’t think so. Let’s try this:
The shop’s door was left unlocked, yet Amy knew she locked it last night after her shift. Walking to the phone, she noticed the register drawer opened and the candy display scattered all over the floor. Her eyes darted around the store. Knots twisted in her gut, when she saw shattered glass mixed with gooey puddles of spoiled all over the tiled floor. Digging her phone from her purse, she shakily dialed her bosses number.

Hello, Mr. Parker, it’s Amy I think someone broke into the shop last night!”

Notice by adding a few descriptions and reactive motion to Amy’s character, now makes the scene visual. It paints a better picture of how Amy reacts both physically and emotionally. The scene now gives a “vivid” picture of what Amy is experiencing as she experiences it.

Definition of Imagination: the faculty of producing ideal creations consistent with reality, as in literature, as distinct from the power of creating illustrative or decorative imagery.

Okay without being too complicated, bringing imagination into a story, is introducing an unexpected element into the scenes. Setting the scene so, our characters must use their wits to navigate through the plot.

For example, we already know that Amy works in a store of some kind and she has just walked into a mess supposedly because of a robbery.

Let's add a little imagination and see how Amy reacts.
Hanging up the phone, Amy senses that someone is watching her. She quickly grabs the bat hidden under the counter underneath the register. Her heart hammers inside her chest. Slowly she approaches Mr. Parker’s office at the rear of the store. With a white-knuckle grip on the bat, she slowly elbows the door open and charges in, her weapon raised above her head, ready to clobber the unsuspecting thief. Just before she nails the first blow, Amy comes to a screeching halt and freezes to her spot, shocked and confused.

See how I wrote the scene, to suggest that the burglar was still in the store. We can both feel and see how Amy reacts to this unforeseen problem. Then at the end, I toss in a strange twist.

Finally we come to “Colorful”:
I don’t think I need to give definition of what colorful means in literature. Making our writing colorful is part personality, part imagination, and part voice. Every thing I write has a lot of my personality woven into through my narratives, scenery, and of course dialogues between my characters. I’ve learned form reading my favorite authors that the more we connect with our readers on a cognitive level, the more appealing our stories will be to them. Creating characters and situations that people can see themselves in, and relate to gives readers a chance to live vicariously through our words as writers.

When I can do this for my readers, then I have done my job as a writer. Plus there is no bigger compliment then someone living vicariously through your characters.

BIO:
Emma Paul lives in her own little fantasy world…well at least when she is creating the fantastical tales that seem to manifest every second of every day within the confines of her mind.

She is happily married with children, and loves writing and sharing her imagination with anyone willing to read or listen to her stories. Her hope is to bring happy feelings into peoples lives by giving them a way to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Her wild, imaginative, and sexy tales will take you away to far off places where anything is possible and romance is hot.

BLURB:
Rumored to be a demon, Damien has been cursed by another demon to remain behind the walls of Darkhaven castle for eternity, unless he can say the True name of the demon that cursed him. Unfortunately, part of the curse is that he is unable to speak the name let alone remember it. At first Damien reject’s the Millers request. Then he catches a glimpse of Elise and is intrigued. He summons her to him and gives her the power to complete all the tasks Duke DeMumart sets for her. But there is a price to pay...

Publisher: Sizzler Editions, Genre: Paranormal/fantasy erotic romance
BUY Links:

 

279 comments:

1 – 200 of 279   Newer›   Newest»
Victoria Adams said...

Interesting - but I dispute the elimination of "as" sentence - people read eliminate the use of -- insert word--, and that word becomes condemned. Sometimes the sentence just works better with the word "as". When we try and work around not using a word then our writing can become stilted or we end up using other "banned' words - such as ly adverbs.
I have a list of "overused" words and I check my chapters when I am done writing to see if I've gone crazy with them. I don't ban them from my work - I attempt to limit them.

Emma Paul said...

That's a good point Victoria, I try not to use "as" phrases if I can help it. However, I admit I do use it on occasion myself, when nothing else fits.

I truly did not mean to "ban" the word as, just not over use it as you mentioned. : )

Nicole Morgan said...

Great post, Emma. As I was reading it I caught a few things I used to be guilty of not writing well. Luckily my editors have helped mold me in the visual category. If only I had read your post 3 years earlier. LOL

Emma Paul said...

Thanks Nicole!

jean hart stewart said...

Good post..Illustrates your points perfectly. I keep a list of words I over-use, and when I do my first edits am always amazed at how they creep in over and over.

Mary Corrales said...

I enjoyed your take on things, and it gave me a different perspective on how to deepen my writing. Thank you. Very interesting.

Brenda said...

Awesome post, Emma.
I'm a firm believer in eliminating as many dialogue tags as possible and replacing them with action beats.

As, while, and gerund sentences are fine AS--lol--long as we keep their usage down.

Emma Paul said...

Thanks Guys!
I'm glad you enjoyed the Post! : )

Believe me I am guilty of repeating certain words...just ask my editor!

Janice Seagraves said...

A great lesson on making descriptive scenes come alive. We can all learn something from it.

Janice~

Sandy said...

Your post is very educational, Emma.

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