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Imagery

December 24, 2011

I am often told that I need to work on imagery and descriptions in my writing. This is a common problem for many writers because it is fairly difficult to find just the right balance between far too much description, which often renders writing boring and tedious, and too little, which leaves readers with a sense of missing substance and prevents them from being truly drawn in. I tend to err on the lesser side. In order to improve this, my brother and I attempted an exercise meant to get the creative juices flowing and show the full capacity of imagery. This is an exercise that can be done by anyone who wishes to develop their descriptive capabilities. We each took a notepad and a pencil and found a location we wished to describe. Then we took copious notes, attempting to write down even the smallest of details. Once we were finished, we compared notes and each wrote up a descriptive paragraph using all the details we had compiled. Mine is as follows:

A thin, wet layer of snow coated the leaf litter of the forest floor. Tall trees with scaly bark and patchy lichen stood stark against the thickened grey clouds of the winter sky. Their branches were bare save for a few dry, brown leaves that whispered on the cold, mournful branches in the wake of a slight breeze. The tree tops shifted gently to and fro, high above the forest floor. Fallen branches littered the ground and several stumps lay there as well, rotting in the frosty air. One of the stumps was jagged, reaching up to the heavens in silent anguish long after its trunk had fallen and the pain was over. Thorny brambles with tiny branches crowded the forest floor, protecting against intruders. Small evergreens rose from the snow, topped with miniature, pointy, yellow cones thrust skyward. A few reddish-green plants graced the landscape, and a sole red berry remained just above the level of the snow in a memorial to the season past. The man’s tracks revealed the world beneath the snow. Brownish-yellow leaves lay in multitude upon the mulch of the forest floor, and small patches of moss rose bold and unafraid, still almost green despite the death-like grip of winter. Scattered acorns lay still and unmoving, refusing to betray the life that lay preserved within them. The man was cold and his nose was running freely as the icy air clamped down upon him. His fingers were quickly becoming numb despite the haze of sunlight in the clouds above. The barking of dogs in the distance broke him from his reverie. It was time to move onwards.

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2 Comments
  1. Very good written article. It will be valuable to everyone who utilizes it, as well as yours truly :). Keep up the good work – looking forward to more posts.

  2. Wohh precisely what I was searching for, regards for putting up.

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