Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Writing That Cracks, Sizzles, and Pops!

We love to describe things as the holiday season approaches, but too often we're stuck with the same bunch of adjectives that don't really make us feel anything. 

For example, you may love Grandma's apple pie, but how do you describe it? “Yummy!” 

How about those fancy lights outside? “Beautiful!” 

Dad's turkey? “Delicious!” 

See what I mean? All those words SOUND like they mean something, but we don't truly see or taste what you do. 

Let's think of some ways to really capture a moment, food, sound, or image. Our goal when describing something is to make the other person know EXACTLY what you mean, even though he wasn't there.

What's a great way to do this? By using our five senses! If you rely on these, your reader will never wonder about what you really mean.

Here are some examples where we turn drab to fab. Notice how the drab doesn't describe, while the fab gives examples on how to make the details pop.

 DRAB                                                                            FAB

yummy -- creamy, spicy, greasy, bits of apple dancing in my mouth

delicious -- oozing chocolate, melted caramel, cinnamon topping crumbling on my lips

beautiful -- sparkling, multi-colored, glowing red and blue, reflecting in the snow, twinkling glass

loud -- crackling fire, cackling children, ear-splitting violin playing, leaves crunching under feet

You try some now. What word(s) do you use a lot? Amazing? Cool? Awesome?
Try to rewrite some sentences to give us an idea of what things look, taste, smell, sound, and feel like.


- Margie

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