Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Angela Hunt on Remembering Your Reader's Senses

by Stephanie Morrill

As I read Angela Hunt's Writing Historical Fiction, I was struck by her advice: "Don't be so caught up in relating dialogue and action that you forget to make your reader's senses tingle."



Um, guilty. My first drafts are almost all dialogue and action with very little heart and almost no description. I don't know why, but for some reason I have to get the surface stuff downwhat my characters say and dobefore I'm capable of delving deeper into the feel place of a story. That place where my character experiences her surroundings (also known as writing with the five senses) and also where we see more of her heart revealed.

What about you? What part of the storydialogue? action? description?comes easiest to you?

21 comments:

  1. I think dialogue and description come easiest for me :)

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  2. Dialogue and emotions, probably.

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  3. I used to consider myself a descriptive writer, and I can still call that up if I'm thinking about it, but actually I think these days dialogue is the easiest for me.

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  4. Methinks I fall horribly short in making my readers' senses tingle...

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  5. Action and description are easiest for me. Emotion is where I fall short. What usually happens is I spend a couple paragraphs describing my character reacting to something awful that happened to her, but I don't get very deep into her head. Working on it, though. :)

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    1. I'm the same way, Linea! I struggle to really get my characters' emotions on paper. Actions and descriptions are easier for me.

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  6. I'm like you on this, Stephanie. When I re-read my first draft I wondered sometimes if my characters were even capable of emotions sometimes, haha. Descriptions and feelings are mostly left by me for a later time. Once the basis is there, I can start worrying how they actually feel about and how the setting arounds them looks/smells etc. like.

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  7. That's a great quote! :) Description and emotion are easiest for me. I normally go overboard with description, so after the first draft, needless description gets cut and then I try to make the other description count. I've struggled with dialogue, but it has been improving a lot here, for which I'm grateful. :)

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  8. I have a harder time with action, but(i think) i'm pretty good with description, dialogue, and emotion. Which is annoying since I'm writing a high fantasy with lots of fighting. :/

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  9. Dialogue is definitely easiest for me, followed by description. I'm terrible at action, for some reason... This may account for the fact that I tend to write character-driven stories over plot-driven ones. Good excuse to focus more on dialogue and getting into the MC's head, rather than the 'fight scenes.' ;P

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  10. Dialogue comes to most naturally to me, but description and setting the scene? There's a reason I spend more time writing than drawing...

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  11. Originally I did lots of descriptions...then I tried to do better dialogue, and now I find it difficult to put descriptions in there. My mom always wants to know what my characters look like...One extreme to another.

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  12. Emotions first, and usually a whole chaotic mess of feelings that don't make sense and have to be sorted out and made more realistic later. Then action, usually. I tend to forget to write descriptions...

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  13. Dialogue comes easiest to me in first drafts. I'm good at adding in description later, but for some reason it's always very vague in my first drafts. I need to stick this quote somewhere to look at as I write!

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  14. I find dialog and description is the easiest to write.

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  15. Dialogue is the easiest for me. Sometimes, I only write the dialogue and add the rest later. Emotion and description are in a battle for the most difficult

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  16. Description comes easier to me. The genre I deal with requires me to give background information for the reader to know what I am talking about. The problem I run into with description is I am never sure how much readers know. Authors like Tolkien favor describing anything and everything, but that makes them hard to read.

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  17. I absolutely love writing description, but I can't write description and dialogue at the same time. I can write dialogue + action beats by themselves, or descritption by itself, but not at the same time. -_-

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  18. whoops! I know I definitely need to work on my description, and--well basically everything else, but description most of all! hehe.

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  19. I'm definitely guilty of this. I need to find that balance of action and emotion. I tend to lean heavily toward action.

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    1. Description too! I am so bad at description!

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