“This topic is a series. From time to time, I will be dishing out practical advice based on my writing experiences that have worked for me.”
*Explore a photograph.
This is most useful for description.
You’ve probably heard that the best way to describe your character’s environment is to put yourself in their place. You should ask yourself: what do they see when they look around? What smell tickles their nostrils? Is there a sound in the air and how do they respond to it? What sensations do their skin feel—perhaps a response to the weather? How does that food taste in their mouth? In other words, you’re exploring the five senses to achieve excellent description.
The problem is, sometimes your mind can’t paint a vivid picture of what you want, and you really can’t afford to waste precious time because you’re on a deadline, or you simply don’t like the fact that you have to wait until your mind has a boost. Who knows how long that would take?
Finding a picture that helps visually describe your setting or environment is a simple remedy. Some writers, though amateur photographers, have actually taken pictures that look like an environment that they created in their book and have made albums of it for their readers to view on their web pages. I’ve actually seen something like that on pinterest. But you don’t have to wait to finish your book. If you’re having trouble creating a setting, go to a place that best describes it the way you see it in your mind and take pictures that you can come back and work with. The beauty of this is that a picture captures so much detail that your eye could have missed, and you can you this to make your description so much richer. I personally believe that the best of metaphors could come from this exercise. When you eventually finish your book, you can pin it, or showcase it on facebook, twitter or instagram. You readers will be glad to see some of what inspired your writing. It would give them a peek into what your writing journey was like.
Sometimes you may find a picture that isn’t exactly what you want but is close enough. I’ve had my settings accommodate some changes and I can say I was very satisfied with my work afterwards.
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