How to Use Description to Bring Your Writing to Life
When you read a story, a mental picture is painted in your mind in a way you can’t explain. Somehow, you’re able to see, feel, hear, taste, and smell the scenario without being in the same room as the characters of the story.
That is the power of imagery.
In this article, we’re going to explore effective ways that you can animate your writing using the power of description.
Would you like to achieve this feat as an aspiring author?
Then keep reading as we delve in.
First off, what is imagery?
Imagery is the ability to create vivid and compelling descriptions that bring your writing to life. The use of imagery is very crucial in storytelling. It makes your writing feel real to the reader and helps them connect with the story, settings, and characters on a deeper level.
Why is imagery important?
As a writer, you need to learn to engage all the reader’s senses in your stories, which means not only describing what the characters are seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and feeling, but describing them in a way that your reader sees, hears, smells, tastes, and feels those things. For you to achieve this, your description needs to have more depth.
For example, instead of saying, ‘The room was dirty and smelly’, you can say, ‘wet clothes scattered about in the room, giving off a dank smell that made me nauseous’.
You can see clearly how the second description was able to trigger the sense of smell in the reader by exploring the contents of the room and how it affects the character.
The characters of a story are the most important elements in the story. You should be able to describe your characters vividly in a way that will enable your readers to envision the characters easily. By using descriptive language to paint a picture of a character’s appearance, personality, and mannerisms, your readers can connect to the character and feel the character’s impact on the story.
Let’s take a look at an example. Instead of saying ‘Grace was beautiful’, you can be more descriptive by saying ‘Grace had long beautiful hair like a river goddess. Her round sparkly eyes could steal your heart at a glance, and her curvy hips made every man stare helplessly. Grace’s beauty instilled envy in the hearts of many women’.
Not only is the second description of the character more elaborate, but the reader can envision her with little to no effort.
Another aspect of a story where imagery can be instrumental is in creating a sense of place. You should learn how to describe the setting to give your reader a clear picture of the surroundings and how it contributes to the happening in your story.
For example, you can describe a room by saying, ‘As Helen walked into the room, the first thing that caught her eye was the deep red curtain that draped elegantly over the large window. They were pulled back slightly, allowing slivers of bright sunlight to filter through, casting golden beams across the polished wooden floor’.
This description registers a crystal view of the setting and how it affects the character and the story.
In conclusion, it is important for you as a writer to understand the language of imagery. The language of imagery is evocative and powerful. Your story should use concrete language to refer to tangible things that can be seen and touched to help your readers create a mental picture of what you’re describing. Your description should also appeal to the readers’ senses of taste, smell, sight, and sound. By using sensory language, you can help your readers imagine what it’s like to be in a particular scenario.
Lastly, when telling your story, you should use similes and metaphors as tools to drive your imagery. Comparing objects and characters to something your readers can easily relate to will help them understand your characters better and connect to the story more profoundly.
We hope you found this helpful.