Thursday, October 09, 2008

Writing Tip - Tapping into the Senses

Children are funny, smart, and always thinking. They know how to tap into creativity. Have you ever watched a child open a present, set aside the contents, and play with the box? As an adult, what could you imagine the box could be used for?

What if we could tap into that creative side of our brain? What if we could tune out the world around us and zero in on a make-believe moment? That's what we need to do as a writer. Writing isn't about sitting down and just slapping words onto a computer screen or a piece of paper. Oh, sure, you can do that. But if you haven't committed yourself into your make-believe world first, you won't be successful. do we tap into that creativity? Here's a tip that works for me. Look at the scene you are trying to create. What is your setting? Let's look at a scene where your character is outside on a sunny day. If you look out your window and see sunshine...walk outside and close your eyes. Experience what you see, what you feel, hear, smell...

Example from my book HIT AND RUN:

She sat on the dock, worn smooth from weather and age, and circled her legs with her arms. The sun warmed her back. She was at peace, wrapped in memories of happier times as she gazed across the water.

A fish jumped, creating ever-widening circles that ebbed toward shore. She turned her face up to the sky where fluffy white clouds billowed, moving and changing shape. When they were small, she and Jilly had been able to find shapes within the clouds. She could hear Jilly's juvenile voice callilng, "Look, Beth, a dragon. See his tail and the fire coming from his mouth?"

So many pleasant memories surrounded her, filling her with a calming peace. She fished until the sun rose higher. Slipping off her shirt, she applied sun lotion as best she could in the areas her bathing suit didn't cover. She stretched out on a towel. The quiet lapping of the lake against the dock supports lulled her into closing her eyes. Her body relaxed and she drifted in hypnotic half-awareness.

Happy writing...and thanks for stopping by!

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