I love coming up with new ways to describe things. It may be odd to make something what is black and white like a typed story into imaging what it would be like if we could describe it with other senses. So here’s my question: is your story like a cozy hot tottie by the fire or maybe so cute that a gaggle of kittens would fart fairy dust? And if it’s not what you want, how can you change it?
A few elements that can change the readers images/sense of the story are sentence structure, word choice, and mood.
Sentence Structure – short simple sentences are like crack for most readers, they move the story along at a fast clip. Dense sentences are great for reflective times where the author is slowing down the pace.
- My feet slapped the pavement. I gave in. I stopped and leaned against a wall. My breath was ragged and raspy to my ears. There’s no way out, my brain protested.
- With my breath raspy and ragged in my ears, my feet slapped the pavement. I gave in, leaned against a wall, and thought, there’s no way out.
Word Choice – is paramount because this can change the feel of everything in a story so once you know what mood you’re going for it’s easy to see if a word doesn’t work to create a mood.
- The fire shot up, pushing the night’s darkness to the edge of the campsite.
- The fire snaked up into the sky, gobbling up the black sky, and shadows danced around the campsite.
Mood – is the feeling the reader gets from the writing. It’s created by using a combination of sentence structure and word choice.
- birthday decorations before the party:
- Cries of not it float through the window, my lips can’t help but smile. Cake with grass green frosting with five red candles are center stage waiting for the singing masses of his friends to bounce off the walls. It’s perfect.
- Cries of not it burst through my roiling emotions. The sounds are everyday but they are hollow. Cake with grass green frosting with five red candles are center stage waiting for the singing masses of his friends to bounce off the walls. It seems so perfect but how long can it last?
The first is light and carefree but in the second there is a sense of foreboding and unease. So using these very basic but powerful elements one change the world or at least shake up your character’s world.
So go reek some havoc and have fun playing with these elements to your hearts desire.
Nothing like messing with your character’s minds. We meddle because we care!