Coloring Your Writing with Words

7 Jan

As a visual merchandiser with a background in interior design, I tend to see the world in a very visually-oriented way. This even applies to my writing. People who have read some of my flash fiction or story snippets often mention they get a strong sense of place and really feel like they are in the settings I write about, and I think my ability to use elements such as color and space to manipulate atmosphere in the physical world really has a lot to do with this!

I’ve been wanting to make a video talking about how our words as writers are as important as colors are to artists and designers; there are so many to choose from and they can really “color” our writing!

 

This isn’t really a “how to” video so much as it is a reminder for us writers to really pay attention to the words we choose when telling our stories and how we use them—something that’s definitely been on my mind while editing my WIP.

Some of the leading English dictionaries have close to half a million words in them, which is pretty amazing when you think about it! Not to mention, our language is always evolving, as new words and turns of phrases seem to pop up just about each year in everyday use. It can be easy reverting to our personal go-to words to the point where, when we go back and look at our writing, they stand out as being overused. Keeping a thesaurus handy in such instances as well as being mindful of what words we choose to tell our stories with can be helpful. (There are times I know there’s a better word and I can’t remember it; then I search thesaurus.com for similar words and am like, “Ah-ha! That’s the one!”)

Anyway, this video is just an exercise in word choice and how the words we choose can be used to create context, subtext, mood, tone, or whatever else we aim to achieve in our stories.

How do you “color your writing?”

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8 Responses to “Coloring Your Writing with Words”

  1. Sarah White January 7, 2017 at 10:04 PM #

    Man…you have a gift for imaginary! Love this video! 🙂

    Like

  2. T. S. Bazelli January 7, 2017 at 10:05 PM #

    One tip I’ve been trying to follow lately is to try to describe a thing, without saying the word. For example, instead of saying ‘the coffee was too bitter’, the coffee tasted like burnt rice at the bottom of a pot. Makes for more vivid descriptions.

    Liked by 1 person

    • T.M. White January 8, 2017 at 8:16 AM #

      Hi, Theresa! Love this. ^_^ Thanks for sharing!

      Like

  3. jazzfeathers January 24, 2017 at 12:35 AM #

    Fantastic video. I really enjoyed it.

    I have never thought, as some people say, that it isn’t important how you write, if you have a good story. A good story is of course the most important thing, but it you are a storyteller, how you tell the story is also vital. I mean, we have nothing else than words to conjure something that really excist only in our heat, at least at the beginning 😉

    Like

    • T.M. White January 24, 2017 at 4:17 PM #

      Hey, Sarah! Glad you enjoyed the video. 😀

      Y’know, sometimes I’ll start reading a novel and find I’m enjoying the ideas behind it but am turned off by how it is written–which is a really annoying combination to come across rather than not just liking anything about the novel. It’s like do I keep reading and ignore what annoys me to see what happens or just give up before I go insane? Haha.

      Sometimes, though, it’s nothing the writer could have done better but is just a matter of preference. For example, I really liked the story of The Hunger Games but just couldn’t get into Katniss’ voice as a narrator to continue reading the rest of the series. (Just went and saw the movies instead.) Part of it was because Suzanne Collins chose to write in a very specific way that left little room for alternate interpretations–which I totally understand works well for YA (easier to comprehend), but as an adult, I like to be able to infer some things and figure it out as I go. So it was like, womp-womp…saw that coming, lol.

      Liked by 1 person

      • jazzfeathers January 25, 2017 at 12:11 AM #

        Preferences sure count in what we like to read, but I think there is a way to tell what you like and what the author chose to do… as you illustrated 😉
        I think it’s a completely different matter when the author is not bothered to tell the story in a compelling way because they think the story is enough. I know people who think this is acceptable. I don’t think this is. Not for a storyteller.

        Like

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