.Visualize the scene.
Make your language vivid by adding details to your characters and scenes so that the listener can imagine it in their mind's eye. If a film starts to roll in your listener's mind, you achieved it.
Here's an example of character description, after reading it - do you have a picture of how the woman looked and an impression of her personality?
Add sensory details.
Tap into words that touch the senses. Well-crafted stories activate our five senses: hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, and touching.
As you refine your story, ask these questions:
- What did you see?
- What did you hear?
- What did you smell?
- What did you taste?
- What did you touch?
Show, don't tell.
Close your eyes and go back into the scene you’re about to write down. What were you experiencing with your five senses? How did you feel?
Your challenge is to evoke those senses and feelings without flatly stating them. Don’t say “I felt angry.” Say
“I threw all twelve eggs against the wall, afterwards stomped up and down on the gooey mess of broken egg shells until my neighbor pounded on her ceiling with a broom. Then I opened the kitchen drawer and started to throw the knives into my yoga mat, thinking the whole time, "How dare him break up with me!"
Your description should help the reader experience anger with you. Stephen King describes it as making the reader “prickle with recognition.”
In the following example from Life Flight by Kimberly Reed, the writer could have said:
My mother is a really optimistic person and said that I shouldn't worry.
Instead she gives us dialogue and puts the whole scene in context to give us a sense of its urgency. She SHOWS, not tells. She also lets the listener know how she feels about the situation. This helps us to get INSIDE the story with her.
I get a phone call from my mom, and she tells me that my father is about to get on an emergency life flight from our home in Montana to go to Denver to get a liver transplant. My mom is perennially optimistic, and she's telling me, “Don't worry. We're going to pull through this. It's going to be alright.” But I know something is really wrong.