Picture it

Picture it

A Lesson by Jason Knight

Make sure you visualize what you really want, not what someone else wants for you. - Jerry Gillies


I released my pen upon that fragment of paper, the ink flowing in anxiety according to the grace of my stroke. When I rose again, I was confronted with a masterpiece. 

I wrote those two sentences without thinking about it twice, and I'm pretty sure you understood just exactly it was that I was talking about, even if I didn't say it clearly. You have probably seen various authors using such technique, and sometimes it sounds beautiful, while others have no such luck. What I'm talking about here is "figurative language." So let's get you started.

The first thing you need to do is visualize what you're trying to portray. Have a mental picture of what emotions, actions, or meanings you're trying to express. If your character is feeling angry, don't just say "She was angry," as it already sounds dull and lifeless. Try expanding on such things for a change. Why not show just how angry she is? Watch this example (Note: I haven't pre-written any of this, I long ago mastered the art of writing and I can create a story in my head perfectly, just as easily as I breathe, and that is hopefully what you can learn. You can say I'm improvising.):

Anna's heart refused to slow down whatsoever, its deliberate beats like those of barbaric cries. She didn't understand why she was feeling like this, she just knew that the anger that boiled her to the core, was the same anger she would release to avenge her friend. Her footsteps demanded authority. She took defiant steps toward the enemy, he who had destroyed everything without compassion, he needed to understand her anger. She jumped at him. Soon the world was a blur as something collided with her body. Something wasn't right.
Now look at this instead:

Anna was angry. She was going to use that anger to avenge her friend, and so she attacked the enemy but something collided with her.

It's rather dull, meaningless at best, and lacks emotion. Yet if you expand upon that, you may have something similar to the event above it, right? Visualize what is it you want the reader to see, write a rough outline if you have to and expand upon it, and it doesn't have to be an entire chapter either. Once you're used to writing this way, it will come naturally to you. Although some of us are born with talents, sometimes it takes others more time to master something, so please don't be discouraged if it doesn't work well at first, just keep practicing!


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Posted 8 Years Ago

very eye opening.
I really need to watch myself...
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Added on April 20, 2010
Last Updated on April 20, 2010

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Jason Knight
Jason Knight

Shippensburg, PA

I am art. I am alive. I am everything you dream of. I am part of all your nightmares. I am love, and I am hate. I choose life over death. I am you, I am me.