Monday, February 02, 2009
Imagery in Writing
Someone asked me what Imagery was in writing. I’m thinking to myself, have you ever read a book without imagery? Imagine a Tolkien novel without imagery. You’d have hobbits crossing Middle Earth in a terrain that looks like everything else in the world. How would you know of the volcano and forest, trees and beauty?
With the use of imagery we were able to be there, right along with the hobbits. We had a chance to see all of Middle earth, the many orcs, the wizard and his fireworks display and oh so much more; brought alive by the visual imagery of writing. From Tolkien’s mind to paper, to us, the reader.
Why were we so enraptured? Because Tolkien creatively used imagery. He took the images in his mind and placed them before us the reader. He filled the imaginary world with color, placed tastes on our lips, filled our ears with noises of impending doom, and we could even touch the bark on Treebeard!
Imagery is bringing sights, sounds, objects, tastes,time and wonder-filled images into your readers world as if they were seeing, touching, tasting everything that you’re describing to them.
If you’re sitting at your desk right now, (I know you are because you’re reading this.) Look at an object on the desk. Do you have pens? Paper? Try and describe those objects. I don’t want to read, a long object filled with ink. Close your eyes and touch the object, sense the object and bring the image of that object alive for me.
“As I sit here, the long cylindrical object that houses a fluid will one day grace the sno-white linen and bring my words alive. It will glide effortlessly,with the assistance of my wrinkled fingers, staining the snow with its welled up color. Before me is the written word from pen to paper.”
Not my best, but you get the idea that I am writing with a pen on paper right? I am going to bring my words alive with that pen and stain the paper with the ink that is within. See? You just need to see the whole picture if your reader is going to see it too. They don’t want green grass; they want moist wet dewy grass. They don’t want a cloudy sky; they want a raging blackness that envelops the sky,devours the blue in a gulp.
Give them the images and your reader will love you for it, and you’ll even feel like a powerful writer if you can pull it off correctly.
Take advantage of the six senses in your writing. Make your writing jump out and speak to me. Use imagery to fill the pages with words. Use the words to make comprehensive sentences. Now make the sentences form paragraphs that are gripping to the reader making him/her want to keep on reading page after page. Go ahead, I know you can do it.