Saturday, January 17, 2015

#Writing Tips

When describing a character's movement, or personality or attitude, or to create suspense, we might borrow a few techniques from writers and narrators of documentaries such as Animal Kingdom, Wild Kingdom, etc. Below are some phrases, typically used to describe movement in the wild kingdom of animals.

The dark of the night. Rules of engagement. A certain uneasiness. Lowered its head as it lurked. Shield its intentions.

I am not suggestion we plagiarize the works of others, at all. I am suggesting that we use similar techniques in our approach to story development and character description. Let's try it.

For example, a wild animal doesn't simply walk up to a water hole and drink. That would make for a terribly uncolorful and uneventful piece of writing. In suspense, we cannot simply have a lady walk to her car in the dark of the night and drive away; that too is  boring; Neither can we have a man walking around a house. That being said, let's take a look at the wild kingdom of animal's and consider a narrator's approach.

You might take the lady who is walking to the car and add more suspense.

The car, in the quiet of the night seemed farther away for reasons Julie could not explain. Maybe she had drank too much. Maybe that was the cause of her uneasiness. Maybe she should have allowed one of the men from the bar to walk her to the car. Several had asked. They were nice enough. She knew them. Why had she been stubborn?

She heard something in the wooded area to her right.

It could have been a squirrel, scurrying for nuts. At this time of night? It could have been a raccoon or maybe a cat?

She held her keys tightly in the fist of her right hand.  Always keep your keys handy, her hubby had warned her. Don't wait until you get to your car to start fumbling in the night.

 She walked faster. She tucked her purse beneath her left arm.  An inexplicable uneasiness caused her to grow tense, that's why she couldn't swallow. That's why she held the keys too tight, cutting into the flesh of her index finger: uneasiness. The act of moving toward her car began to take on the nature of a wild animal, creeping to and from a waterhole. Waterholes attract other beast-prey and predator.

She heard it again. The squirrel was following her.

A man does not walk around a house. Instead, we see a figure standing about six feet tall, crouching near a hedge bush. He could be innocent. Maybe he's simply looking for something he dropped. Maybe he lives there. Maybe he's checking his flower bed. At 11:00 p.m.?

And what about the instrument in his hand? It could be a gun or something burglars use to pry open windows. He did not go to the door and knock. He did not enter with a key. Instead, he lowered his head like a dark soul lurking upon the opportunity of evil, using the dark of the night to shield his intentions. He disappeared into a deeper shadow of darkness on the right sight of the ranch house, near the bedroom window, changing the rules of engagement.


I hope this tips will motivate you to experiment with your descriptions.