Want to make readers remember what you write? This award-winning author has some tips on how to make your words sparkle.
by Shirley Holder Platt
Writing is something most anyone can do. Writing something that other people want to read—now that’s a horse of a different color. So, how do you make your story stand out?
In other words, how do you make it memorable?
One obvious way is to polish your sentences. This is a step best done after you’ve written your first draft, gotten the story onto the page, and are in the process of editing, because that’s when you can take your time and make your words shine.
Another easy way is to look for new ways of describing ordinary things. I still remember reading about a sunset years ago. The author described the color of the sky as “bruised.” I’d never thought of purple clouds that way before, but I remember that author’s words every time I see a sky that color.
You don’t have to be a poet to make your writing poetic, though. You simply need to be thoughtful. An easy way to do this is to make use of metaphor, simile, and analogy.
Here are some quotes that do this quite well:
J.R.R. Tolkien of The Lord of the Rings fame describes the changing season: “The old year was turning brown; the West Wind was calling.”
Stephen R. Donaldson talks of confusion in a short story entitled, “Unworthy of the Angel”: “I was completely disoriented—a piece of cork carried down the river.”
Yann Martel, in his bestseller Life of Pi, portrays nature: “Nature can put on a thrilling show. The stage is vast, the lighting is dramatic, the extras are innumerable, and the budget for special effects is absolutely unlimited.”
Perhaps these will help you improve your writing skills as much as they’ve helped me improve mine.
There’s an old saying that there’s nothing new under the sun. It’s even been said that there are only seven plots in the world. Therefore, the goal is to make your story come to life in a new way.
By taking your time to polish your work and create original descriptions, you’ll give your readers something they can remember in every book they read, and keep them coming back for more.
Shirley Holder Platt is the author of twelve romance, one chick lit, and one romantic mystery novel. She has one crime/comedy novel, Mama Needs New Shoes, that won the October 2018 Most Buzz Award. Several of her now-published novels appeared first on ChapterBuzz.
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