“In writing. Don’t use adjectives which merely tell us how you want us to feel about the thing you are describing. I mean, instead of telling us a thing was “terrible,” describe it so that we’ll be terrified. Don’t say it was “delightful”; make us say “delightful” when we’ve read the description. You see, all those words (horrifying, wonderful, hideous, exquisite) are only like saying to your readers, “Please will you do my job for me.” C. S. Lewis, Letters Of Note
Armed with The Artist’s Way tools, and frantically sharing tips with my current closest writing buddy, I stumbled upon a letter of note via twitter from C. S. Lewis, to a young fan. (Click on the above link to read the full letter, in fact stay awhile on the site, all of the letters are fab!)
The Chronicles of Narnia are in my top ten of books, they were a tradition in my family growing up and they are a firm favorite in my house now. (I am lucky to have a house of avid readers!!) The books manage to bring to life not only characters that are believable, but a world too. Amazing!
Being descriptive and ‘showing not telling’, can be hard for a writer, I sometimes find myself reading back paragraphs of text only to think, ‘that’s a bit flat!’. As i’m sure you do, I find bringing text to life easier if I imagine the text as real life. I think about what my character would do/or act and show them doing it. I think of the sounds they would hear, or what expressions they would be pulling. I try to put myself right there in that scene to get every last bit of description out of it. Imagination is a powerful tool in story writing!
All in all, I think C.S Lewis makes us all relax a little with these words!
“If you become a writer you’ll be trying to describe the thing all your life: and lucky if, out of dozens of books, one or two sentences, just for a moment, come near to getting it across.” C.S.Lewis, Letters of Note
As always tips, hints and tricks welcomed!!!!!