the barn in fall

the barn in fall

Friday, January 21, 2011

Sensing the Heat

If you're a writer, you've had it drilled into you: show, don't tell.  Don't tell the reader it was cold outside, let him see the ice coating the trees, feel the bite of the wind, hear the crunch of footsteps in snow.  No matter how many pretty adjectives you use, narration is boring.  Writers draw the reader in by using the senses.

Now, to set the scene:  This was a writing day for me, working on a story that centers around a honky tonk saloon in the Colorado mountains.  It takes place in the summer - bright days, warm nights, green meadows.  But I'm writing it in the grip of a ten degree day.  The air here hurts.  Summer in Colorado isn't enough to warm my bones.  So hey, sorry sexy hero, but that saloon of yours is going to catch on fire.  And you'd better believe you'll hear the crackle of flames, smell the acrid smoke, feel the searing heat that burns your eyes like you've been staring into the sun.  The author needs to warm up!

The rest of the home pack used more conventional methods:

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