By: Jordan Dane
Imagery conveys more than describing a setting. Done right, it can enhance the emotion and pull the reader into your writing in a unique way
to them. It’s not merely
about “show don’t tell.” Imagery is a skill that embellishes your author voice.
Below are my thoughts on imagery and what’s worked for me.
1.) No Description Dumps – Layer your imagery into the scene in delicious morsels. Entice with flashes for the senses. Don’t stop your story to overwhelm the reader with detailed description dumps that will slow the pace and stall the action.
Example: Excerpts below are from The Last Victim (Jordan Dane) – Spears of light filtered through green leaves and daylight dappled the ground in colors that reminded me of light shining through the stained glass of a church.
2.) Have the imagery enhance the intended emotion of the scene. Description shouldn’t sound like it came from a dictionary or research book.
Stilted Description (Example Only): Over the years, the floor of a forest became thick layers of pine needles that forced me to watch where I stepped.
Improved Version: The forest floor had a thick layer of decaying pine needles and fallen leaves that gave a pungent rich smell to the soil. The path buckled under my weight as if I were treading on a mattress.
3.) Choose action words or descriptive Words that convey/enhance the senses – Action Words like slash, shiver, jab, or pound, denote the action they describe.
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