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Writing a Picture: A Writer Reflects on the Art

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A painter tells their story on a canvas, actors tell theirs on a stage, both of which, as with many others, induce different emotions depending on the audience.

The Writer's MindWhen a story presents itself in the mind of a writer, all five senses engage so as to be in tune with the characters and their world. Colors come to life, so do the bumble bees as they dance on the head of a flower, a quiet spoken word from a passerby will whisper on the breeze, the grass will tickle between our toes with each step we take, and the bitter sweet taste of red wine will flow over our tongues.

We also feel the fear walking through the dark alley as someone follows, we feel the pain of a lover’s loss and the elation of a lover found – we as writers embark on a journey that is just as uncertain for us, as it will be for you when you turn the pages.

However, a writer doesn’t get the use of taste, touch, smell, visual or verbal to arouse those emotions in you. How do we show you what is embedded in our mind so as to bring you along with us on every twist and turn? How do we make you cry, laugh, giggle, hurt, love, lust, be afraid, when using those other senses is an impossibility to persuade you to follow?

Taking you on our journey is not an easy task. It all has to be presented in such a way that you feel as we feel, see what we see, including all the little details that explode on the scene to make it real… The beat of the heart as it pulses against our heroine’s ribs, the taste of salt in a tear as it slides down the hero’s face, as well as the ache that, at first, is a slow burn, only to explode into every crevasse of his body. However, when it comes to scenery, we can’t go on and on with so much detail that it becomes boring, leaving nothing to the imagination.

We’ve all seen pictures of famous paintings, people, and the like, none of which really trigger grandiose excitement. However, to stand in front of the original is a whole different story.

That’s one of the wonderful things about being a writer, we don’t depend on the five senses to spark self-indulgence, we have a fairly simple tool that is powerful enough to stimulate not only those senses, but every emotion there is under the sun – it’s called words. They bring our characters and their world to life in your mind, igniting the imagination.

Our words have the same effect whether they’re read on computer, Kindle or novel. They pack the same punch wherever they are, however they are read and you, the reader…always have an original in hand.

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About C. Elizabeth

  • http://www.lauraburks.com Laura Burks – author of Altered a young adult paranormal romance mystery

    This is an incredible article. Perfectly chosen words to describe what so many of us neglect to see, or read. When reading, we expect the author to pull us through the emotions and build a world we can only visualize in our mind. This is not always an easy task. I love how Char explained this in such simple, but true terms. Her articles are always an inspiration. Great job!