Sunday, October 7, 2012

Week seven

I'm really interested in the “brush strokes” that we learned about earlier in the week. I am always looking for ways to make my writing more descriptive without making it florid, and I think that these are really useful tools to have, especially if we want to write creatively in the future. I think that I've been doing these things without really realizing it for some time, but it's nice to have them in my repertoire now.

For example, for me, finding the fine line between fleshing out your characters' descriptions and overdoing it can be difficult. I have read stories that tell us everything about the way a character looks, right down to what brand of mascara she is wearing, or what color the stripes on his Adidas are, and, conversely, I have read stories that leave me wondering if the character described even has any physical characteristics whatsoever. (That sentence is a little overlong. I'm still learning.)

One of the things I really like about the “brush strokes” is that they give you a lot of different ways to say the same thing, which is something I always appreciate. For example, with a little tweaking, you basically have infinite ways to say something as simple as, “The blonde girl cried.”

“Painting with participles”: Hugging herself to protect from the cold, the blonde girl wept bitterly in the cold.

“Painting with absolutes”: Body shaking, eyes streaming, the blonde girl cried like her life depended on the tears.

“Painting with appositives”: The girl, a pale ghost with even lighter hair, sobbed without respite for hours.

“Painting with adjectives out of order”: The girl, pale and hunched, wept silently.

I realize that outright providing examples like that rather than trying to incorporate them them into the actual blog post is kind of going for the low-hanging fruit, as it were, but I wanted to do it like this because I wanted to use examples that are more creative than technical, if that makes sense. With that said, I look forward to working more on these in the future, because I think they will be quite helpful (especially in that “one chapter” assignment a few of us are working on for English 325 – of course, I can't speak to these techniques' helpfulness for other people, but hey).

1 comment:

  1. I think it would have been really cool if you would described your excitement in a paint stroke. Show how it can be used in a normal blog. Or even give us a paragraph of a piece of creative writing you might have. I feel that the paint brushes add drama to something which seems drama free such as academic writing. Add a bit more drama!!