A Prepublished Novel in the Process of Revisions and Rewrites

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Art of Creating wonderful Imagery through use of the Senses.

Welcome to my portion of the April Blog Event: A Tisket, A Tasket, Put Romance in your Basket. If you just dropped in and have no clue what is going on you can backtrack to the beginning by visiting Silver James' blog and following the links from there. This way you'll be in the running for so many more great prizes:) I've included the blog event's details at the bottom of this post as well.


Since Easter is behind us and Spring is in full swing, I thought I'd like to talk about the importance of imagery in writing. What does one have to do with the other? Well, I can't talk about the beauty of the season without painting a picture with imagery using the senses can I?

The idea of imagery is to pull the reader into your story. Creating and stimulating sensory responses so the reader can actually see, smell, taste, hear, touch--in essence, make the reader feel part of the scene.

I love to use imagery every chance I get in writing. I want to pull the reader into my scenes. The whole purpose of reading is to escape 'real life' if not for just a little while. To do this effectively you need to choose the perfect words and descriptives to paint your scenes. I'll tell you how I attempt to accomplish this in my own writing.

Below, I'd like to begin with a couple of examples. The first a simple description of a scene and the second, a more detailed sensory-stimulated painting of the same scene.

Example 1:

Colorful flowers were pretty along the tudor mansion's walkway. In back, the roses and gardenias smelled nice. We sat on a bench and rested in the shade.

Example 2:

Purple pansies, red and white tulips, sunny daffodils and forsynthia burst a riot of color along the two-story English tudor mansion's walkways. As we strolled around back, the heady scent of roses and gardenia perfumed the air, and we soon found ourselves surrounded by statuary and gurgling fountains beneath a canopy of century-old oaks. We settled down on a garden bench and rested in the coolness of the shaded sanctuary.

For all intent purposes, doesn't example two take you into that garden? Can you not see the Tudor mansion, smell the roses and gardenia, see the yellows and lush greens of the daffodills, forsynthia, and aged oaks, feel the coolness of the shaded bench? Doesn't the imagery of this scene almost melt stress away and help you to forget reality for a minute?

This is what writing is all about, at least in my mind. When I read a book, I want to be carried away, experience what the characters are experiencing. If they are in an Italian restaurant, I want to see the Chianti bottles dripping with colorful candlewax, feel the warm, cozy romance of candlelit tables, and smell the garlic and tomatoes. I want to here the scraping of cutlery against stonewear and the low rumble of conversation with the clink of glassware.

If you are depicting a couple walking on a beach at sunset, you want to describe the palette of colors splayed across the horizon as the sun sets. The violets and grays of twilight moving in. The sound of the surf crashing or rolling onto the beach. The feel of the warm sand between the toes of bare feet.

See what I mean? All this works to enhance the experienc of the reader as he/she ventures through your story.

A great way to practice this is to go outside, sit quietly, and just listen. Try to describe your surroundings in the most vivid words you can. Next time you're in a restaurant, try to jot down your sensory observations, or in a forest taking a walk, describe the scuttle and scurry of small animals startle as you pass by, the birds darting about above, the whisper of the wind through the leaves. All this will help to create the perfect sensory and imagery in your scenes.

Please pipe in on this subject. If you are a reader tell us what you like most when you are caught up in your favorite authors work. I'd love to hear from you. And one lucky person will win a Spring gift bag filled with goodies(my contribution to the April Blog Event Grand Prize).

As promised contest blurb and all pertinent information below.

To enter to win prizes from the authors donating treasures to the grand prize (see each day's post for what an author is donating to the grand prize), find the four Easter eggs in the A TISKET A TISKET, PUT ROMANCE IN YOUR BASKET blog event.
You will be searching for the pictured egg. Just visit all of the authors' websites, locate the 4 eggs, make a list of their locations by pasting the urls to the website pages in an e-mail, then send the entry to happyendings2007@aol.com by midnight CST on May 1st, 2009. The winner will be randomly drawn and announced May 2nd at Skhye Moncrief's Blog. Tip #1, subscribe to Skhye's Blog to learn if you're the winner! And don't worry. If you start in on the blog event late, just head back to Silver James' blog on April 1st to begin your website search for the Easter eggs. Don't miss the fun!

And one more chance to win. I will personally choose a winner from all of you commentors on Sunday, April 19th. I will be giving away a copy Curse of the Marhime in .pdf format to one lucky person. Hope you love to die for Alpha males:) Because I know you will love Niko. Good luck!

The next leg of this journey is tomorrow at Phyllis Campbell's blog so don't forget to drop in and hang with her for the rest of this bloghopping tour and so many more chances at great prizes.

Thanks for dropping in. I hope you've enjoyed you visit:)



  1. Hi Dayana, I'm with you, you know how important imagery is to me. If I can't sense it, I can't get there.
    Great post.

  2. I really enjoyed your post. When I read I like to be able to see where the characters are, the scenery, the people around them, what they are wearing and doing. I think this would be a hard part of writing. Everyone has a few stories in their heads, but it takes this imagery to put it down into a book and make it readable.

  3. Great job illuminating the mystery of description. :) I'm on a diet so all I can think about is taboo foods. :( I'm glad you stuck with a garden...

  4. Dayana- Very good comments and I liked the examples. But I have to admit that the examples made me laugh! Why? Because I am an attorney and I think and write sparsely and "tight" like the first example! I would have soooo much stretching and learning to do if I ever decide to write romance!! Of course that is one reason I love to READ romance!!! And by following these blogs I have learned to pay attention to things like POV and expression etc. So thanks for improving my perceptions!

  5. I enjoyed your post very much. Those details in describing a characters surroundings is what really makes a story. It really helps you be able to put yourself into the story. It makes it a story so much more enjoyable.

  6. Good post, Dayna. Using description so we can picture along with reading is great, as long as one doesn't over do it, going on and on.

  7. Beautiful imagery, Dayana. What good is a garden scene if you can't see and smell the flowers?
    Your words take the reader with you.

  8. I enjoy going to the local wildlife refuge, sitting quietly and listening to the sounds of nature. If I'm lucky, I may see a deer, rabbit, unique bird, etc. Of course, I always have my camera along just in case. It's also a wonderful place to sit and read.