On Descriptive Writing: Something…Out There!

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By Lanny Smith

Today is a wonderful day for me. My novella, The Christmas Beacon, is set to be released in a matter of days and I have my copies in hand. This story is special to me because it glorifies God and deals with issues of faith, hope and miracles. I want to bless as many people possible so that they might evaluate their stand on these issues. Also, in honor of my mother, I want to do what I can in the fight against cancer. This will not be so much a commercial venture for me. I’ll be charging for the novella and the e-book, but I’ll be returning some of the proceeds to a particular cancer foundation to fight against this dreaded disease. Please watch for The Christmas Beacon, an inspirational mystery (if you will) that will touch your heart.

There’s my shameless plug for my present project. Now, what can I say to encourage you in your endeavors? Think back to the strange title of this post. I’m a guy who likes to dwell on things…out there! I enjoy the beautiful works of the Creator such as a clear, star-filled night sky in winter. I love to gaze at the ocean, especially when a perfectly formed, glassy wave breaks over the head of a brave surfer. Two of my favorite movies had scenes actually shot in the snowy mountains of Iceland. I could almost feel the frosty temperatures and I was in awe of those majestic mountains in the background. I also like to fly when I can – preferably in helicopters. It’s hard to put into words the beauty of the earth from an altitude of 500 feet and there’s the challenge. How many of these marvels that we might take for granted can be injected into our stories?

I know – at least one person who reads this might think, “Well, duh, tell me something I don’t know!” In response, I offer that realistic dialogue, the plot itself, character descriptions and structure are essential to crafting a great tale, but it never hurts to add visual (and other) imagery to the story.

I highly recommend taking any course that can improve your descriptive writing skills. If you’re effective at descriptive writing (and I’m a work in progress), you will keep your readers engaged in your story. Consider how quickly our minds wander as we read anything page to page-thus the value of colorful, descriptive writing.

Before I lose you, try incorporating a little bit of the beauty of God’s creation into your story. Many authors describe things in such a way that you can easily capture that visual in your mind – you can smell this, taste that – as if you’re actually there. What we don’t get, our imaginations will fill in the blanks. Isn’t this one reason we love to read – and write?

Lanny SmithLanny Smith is a Christian, a former “Class B+” surfer and a veteran of the U. S. Air Force. He lives in Jacksonville, Florida. His novel, THE RADICAL RIDE, is an explosive, suspense-thriller. You can visit www.TheChristmasBeacon.com to learn more about his new novella and the real story behind it.

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