Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Imagery--A must?

As I struggle to get writing time in, I am at least getting some educational reading in in snippets. I came across this interesting paragraph in Manuscript Makeover by Elizabeth Lyon.

"Imagery adds so much to a writer's style that with all practicality and crassness, I advise you to make sure to add analogies, similes, or metaphors to any pages requested by an agent or editor. Without question, make sure your revision includes imagery on page one." (pg. 48)

So, are you sparce with imagery, or do you wield it liberally? Are you making agents and editors smile, or flip pages struggling to find imagery that doesn't exist?

On a fun note:

Curtesy of Sherrinda, it's official, the Official Kissing Day Blogfest will be held on Monday, December 21st as a Writer's Tribute to Mistletoe!

I absolutely love this idea.

Hope you all will join in on the fun and post a snippet of your work where a kiss, or an almost-kiss is experienced. If you haven't written any such scenes, have you read one lately that you could share on your blog? The mistletoe will be floating around cyberland on Monday. Be ready!


Surrendering to Him,

Eileen


9 Days until we widely celebrate Jesus's Birthday on Christmas Day around the World!

30 comments:

Rebecca Nazar said...

Oh yes, imagery is a biggy. It's like stage props or setting for characters to act upon (how's that for a simile?) I try to be selective in my placement, nothing worse than plopping it down everywhere and overwhelming a reader . . . oh, and I am lax in using sound and smell cues to ignite a readers imagination. Must work on that.

Jessica said...

I don't know if I use imagery too much. Maybe for when I want to drive something home to the reader, or create a mood.

As for kissing day! Woohoo. LOL I can't wait to read everyone's entries. :-)

sherrinda said...

I am TERRIBLE at imagery and it is something I am trying to add as I edit. It's not easy though!

Thanks for spreading the word! I am looking forward to the mistletoe at work Monday! ;)

Tamika: said...

I can handle imagery in snippets. It isn't one of my areas of strength, but I agree it enhances the picture of our words so much.

I'm learning to take my time and let the characters roam and soak up the rays of sunshine spilling past the clouds.

Joanne said...

I use imagery and enjoy other's imagery, but think it works best almost as a surprise. Meaning not to often, so that when the reader comes across a passage, it's a little change-up from the text and a refreshing passage.

Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought said...

I can attest to Joanne using it well on her blog.

I use it, but might wield it too liberally at times. Sometimes I make connections in my own head that I'm not sure others would make but I assume they would. Hope that makes sense.
~ Wendy

Jody Hedlund said...

We all need a little spice in our stories. Too much is overpowering, too little can make it bland. I'm not sure about a dose on the first page. I guess it would depend on whether it's needed and whether it fits your genre.

Linda Kage said...

I love imagery and similies. Not sure how well I write them, but I sure like to read them!!

And mistletoe on Monday, huh? I'll have to check this out.

Georgiana said...

Imagery is one of those things I definitely need to work on. I've never heard of manuscript makeover--must check it out.

Jennifer Shirk said...

That's something interesting to think about. I have been told that they can picture a scene that I've written or that a scene made them smile, but I feel I'm not too descriptive in my writing.
Sounds like a good book!

I can't wait to hang the mistletoe on my blog!

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

I love imagery. It's one of my favorite things about writing. I love the chase of trying to find the "exact best possible picture". So great!

Tamara (TC) Staples said...

I don't think I am very effective with my imagery. It is certainly an area I need to improve. Thanks for getting me to think more about it.

Erica Vetsch said...

I love metaphors and similies. I challenge myself to use comparisions from the POV character's life. If I have a cowboy character, his similies come from his work and life, and my ship captain thinks in nautical terms, etc.

Susan R. Mills said...

I use metaphors and similes a lot. Sometimes I take them out when I edit because they just don't work where I put them. But I move them somewhere else or save them for another project. That kissing thing sounds like fun. I was going to take next week off from blogging, but I may have to post that day. Thanks for telling us about it.

Cindy said...

Ooooh, sharing a kissing scene. That sounds delicious!

I love putting imagery in my stories. I hope I don't do it too much but I just love writing like that.

Warren Baldwin said...

The imagery, or color, of metaphors, etc. works esp well in speaking situations as well as writing.

Nisa said...

Thank you for the comment on my blog and I must say that I love yours. :)

Sharing kissing scenes for the holidays, what a cute idea. I think I'll have to participate in this one just for fun! :)

Robyn Campbell said...

I'll be off next week, but maybe I'll get to share mine one day. I will read the posts when I get back though. Sounds like a really fun thing to do. We all have those stories, don't we?

Susan Anne Mason said...

Eileen,

I love similes and sometimes use them too much. They can add so much to a scene.

As for the Mistletoe day, I love this idea. How does it work exactly? We all just do our own blog and share a kiss scene?

Will have to find one over the weekend!

Take care,

Sue

PS. We had our daughter's 16th in the summer. We took her and 3 friends to Niagara Falls for 2 days! I hope boys' 16th birthdays are less momentous! Got a few years yet for that one!

Patti Lacy said...

LOVE imagery. Had a take-your-breath-away kiss in An Irishwoman's Tale that sealed the deal for dear Mary.

Cool post, as usual!!1
Patti
www.pattilacy.com/blog

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Eileen -

While I like imagery, I think too much of it can detract from the story. I did a post a while back on using analogies in a way that supported the story rather than tried to steal the limelight.

Having said that, Manuscript Makeover is going on my Wish List. The title alone has me wanting to read more.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Tara McClendon said...

I love adding imagery, but it's also important to make it fresh--to avoid cliches. It's also essential to make sure you aren't overloading the reader with imagery, which can slow down the pace.

LeSan said...

I know that when I am reading anything at all my mind wants to create imagery. If the writer has not provided any clues I find I am trying to make something up in the back of my mind anyway. The best imagery, which is truly an art, is done with the most sparse number of words. I would aspire to that if I could ever be so bold.

destrella said...

Can't wait to wildly celebrate with you! :O)

Katie Ganshert said...

I heart imagery. I LOVE it in the books I read and the books I write. However, I do think it's possible to go overboard.

Great stuff, Eileen!!

T. Anne said...

Are we both just exhausted and out of the loop? Hello stranger! I haven't been hitting the dashboard like I used to this month, please forgive!!!

Jeanette Levellie said...

I think sometimes I use too much imagery, if that's possible.

As to Monday, does a kiss from God count? My non-fiction devos don't have much smooching in them...

Tabitha Bird said...

My memoir is full of imagery. My writing tends to be imagery heavy. Sometimes I worry there is too much in there. I think my story gets a bit lost sometimes.

Yaya' s Changing World said...

Details, details. Can't we just add pictures, instead?

Just wanted to mention that I have a blog award for you at Yaya's Changing World. You can pick up your One Lovely Blog Award anytime. ~ Yaya
Yaya's Home

Sahil said...
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