Paint a picture in words

I was with some friends last night, one of whom is a writer, and I was amazed at my friend’s ability to be descriptive in her writing. This reminded me of how important it is in creative writing to be able to “paint a picture” in words for the reader.

She had written a persuasive essay about art in education. In the beginning paragraph she began her essay with a few sentences describing the memories of the art and music room in elementary school. She described the smell of Elmer’s glue and construction paper, the smell of colored clay, and the faint sounds of band instruments from the music room down the hall. The picture she painted with her words immediately took me back to those memories—I really enjoyed the trip her words took me on.

This is the essence of writing, it`s the stuff readers love, it`s what makes a story a page turner. If we as writers can develop this skill and learn to take our readers on a trip, to paint a vivid picture in words that they can get lost in—we have them hooked.

Some writers seem to have an innate ability to write like this while others (like me) must learn to develop and hone this skill. Each writer has a particular strength: some writers are descriptive; others can reach into the reader’s soul with their words, still others are strong in their ability to write dialog--there are a multitude of styles. That being said, the one skill that will sell a book, or draw readers to your work, is the ability to be descriptive. It`s never too late for any of us to learn. This friend of mine reminded me of the importance of descriptiveness in my writing. God bless. WP




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