Visualize. It’s what we all want readers to do with our writing, but it’s one of the hardest parts of writing there is, for me, at least. How can I help readers ‘see’ what is in my head as I write? It all comes down to showing vs telling. Don’t just tell the story. I’ve heard non-writers say “I can write a book. I’m good at telling stories.” Oh if they only knew. Yes, almost anyone can tell a story.
My ten year old granddaughter can tell a story, but can she write a story that will pull me in? Not yet. It’s about digging in, knowing your characters and portraying them on paper, or screen, so readers also know them as the story progresses. It’s more than sharing the key points. It’s showing how a character reacts to a point, how they perceive it and get through it. It’s feeling like you are in the story, living it.
Have you ever seen Inkheart with Brendan Fraser? Talk about living the story! But that’s how I feel when I read some authors books and how I strive to write for my readers. Well, maybe not exactly like that. I don’t think I’d like getting stuck in the story I’m reading and having to find someone to write me out again!
Writing a visual story, struggling to do so, can be enough to kill a writer’s dream or make them give up before they finish the story.
It’s damn hard. Anyone who says otherwise hasn’t written a story that I’d want to read. It’s painful, unnerving and, at times, depressing. It’s what, in the end, makes me glad I’m a writer who doesn’t give up before the heart of a story is revealed and put out there for others to live.
Would you rather read a book that makes you sad it’s over, or miss the characters when you close the book? Or would you want an author to tell you a story just so you know what happened? What is it in your favorite books that the author(s) do to help you visualize every nuance and close the book feeling like you’d just lived it?
I hope you’ll join me Monday for the letter ‘W’, as I near the end of my first successful (so far) Blogging A to Z Challenge.
Until then, have a wonderful weekend!