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3 Writing Techniques To Have In Your Creative Arsenal
You may need some new writing techniques to improve your writing proficiency or help you push through a creative fog. And here are 3 approaches that you can apply to any piece of narrative fiction to make them more captivating. You can consider them and see which one works with your current project.
1. Weave your description with the action
Good writing can get confused with florid prose with language use that rises to the level of poetry. But this approach often leads to slow and directionless writing. To keep your work captivating and direct, whenever you need to describe something, do this through the action of your characters.
For example, you can describe a character's clothes thus: "Sarah was cold. She wore a fur coat that reached her ankles and had five pink buttons." But this description interrupts the action in your story.
Instead, you can describe the coat like this: "Sarah shivered. As she strode across the block, she put her gloved hands inside the pocket of her ankle-length fur coat with pink buttons fastened up to her neck." Here, we give the same information without interrupting the action. Weave your description into the action this way.
2. Evoke imagery with all the senses
Still on description, a writing technique that can make your work leap out of the pages is exploring often neglected senses. Visual and auditory imageries are common to readers. But you can give them a richer experience when you evoke their sense of smell, taste, and touch.
We rarely mention how something smells, but we often remember how things smell long after forgetting how they appear. Thus, you can create a remarkable scene by describing how a person, place, or object smells.
This description can quickly transport the reader to the places you take the characters. This also applies to narrating how a thing taste. It reminds readers quickly of a familiar culinary experience.
Employing the sense of touch is more than describing a silk scarf on your shoulders or cold seawater on your feet. It also involves sensations beneath the skin, like wilting in the heat, prickling with fear, or squirming in agony. It can move readers to have a completely immersive physical experience.
3. Consider using multiple POVs
You can present the action of any scene in numerous ways, based on who is observing it. So, before you draft your story or an aspect of it, determine whose story it is and whose perspective is best to advance the narrative.
Many authors often choose the protagonist's viewpoint, but a different perspective can offer some remarkable benefits. A different POV from the main character can give the protagonist some air of mystery. We see this in The Great Gatsby, narrated by Nick Carraway, who recollects the summer he moved to New York and befriended Jay Gatsby.
Most times, viewpoint characters are characters who readers will naturally recognize. This helps when a story takes place in a setting that most readers are unfamiliar with. For example, a story set in the remote environment of a terrorist war zone might be better narrated from the viewpoint of a newly deployed officer.
Aligning the POV character with the reader can help ease your readers into an unfamiliar world. It gives you ample opportunities to insert exposition into your story through dialogue or other creative devices.
Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Frank Stephen