I don’t know about you, readers, but I can rush things. Rush my writing, that is. I get eager to finish a piece and instead of taking my time to craft the perfect sentence, I toss in phrases that are flat. Not cliche so much. Not lacking in description per say. No, what I’m guilty of is writing with my mind and not my ears, eyes, nose, and hands. Make sense? Good.
Writing with the senses takes time. To come up with the perfect descriptive wording for how a meal smelled; how a wooden dresser felt; how colorful the sky actually is; it takes painstakingly long minutes, even hours. So, it’s easier at times to add in quick and obvious adjectives. Then move on with things, like plot. But (and no surprise here) those adjectives, those easy additions are so generic, they’ll blind any reader from noticing your three dimensional characters, killer foreshadowing, heart-tugging themes. I can see it in my writing. Especially as I’m editing my first draft of The Naming of Colton Black. First drafts are meant for obvious adjectives. Just get the story down, right? But as I comb through my sentences, word by word, I notice just how lacking my descriptions are. Lacking in those senses.
So, I’m working on slowing down. Taking my time with the way Breslin sees things. Hears things. Smells things. Touches things. I stop what I’m doing and find a piece of wood that might match her dresser. Touch it. And describe it. Or eat a croissant to know just how the flakes peal off, how they feel in my mouth, how buttery each is. And describe it. It’s slow going, yes. But the more I do it–the more I discipline myself to do it–the more specific my manuscript becomes. The more life it breathes. And (hopefully) the more powerful it’ll be for my readers.
Keep you posted.