It’s Not Just Words
Consider this. Two people are holding hands and strolling through a park on a warm, sunny afternoon. Birds are singing cheerfully perched on the branches of the trees. A gentle breeze nudges fluffy, fair-weather clouds of cotton candy lazily along in a clear blue sky. The air smells fresh and sweet. When you read that, do you get the impression it’s pleasant and lighthearted?
Two people are holding hands and rushing through a park in the afternoon. Bent over, they struggle to protect each other from the rain bombarding them at every angle. The trees tremble at the will of the whipping wind. Sharpened bolts of lightning slash through the layer of angry, dark clouds overhead. Cracks of thunder assault the air. How does it feel now?
Writers paint a story like artists’ brushstrokes adorn a canvas. A dab of joy here or a splatter of danger there takes your readers, along with your characters, on the ride you built. Will it be enjoyable so they hop back in line for another go-round? Will it be the stuff of a nightmare that scares their socks off, and no one can escape no matter what they do?
You know what your characters feel in the circumstances you create for them. Your readers should experience that too by the words you choose to weave your tale.
Is it possible to overdo it and overload your readers with details? I think so. Too many can bog down the story. Your audience might get lost in processing the words instead of being immersed in the mood you’re trying create for them.
Pack a punch in what you say. Powerful words get powerful reactions. I try to keep that in mind when I write. Do I always get everything right? Of course not. Writing is a work in progress. There’s always something we can learn.
Sorry I missed last week’s blog. I threw out my back just by twisting—apparently in the wrong direction. Everything seems to be pretty much aligned now. The joys of getting older...