Readers want a narrative that is compelling to keep them engaged with a book. One of the easiest ways to do this is to include imagery with your writing. When a writer is able to visualize what they are writing about, this makes it possible to include those images within the narrative. This creates an improved level of communication between the writer and reader, allowing specific ideas to be conveyed through the written word.
In order to make your writing become more detailed with imagery, utilize these exercises within your writing routine on a regular basis. This allows you to open up an array of possibility for engagement that may not have been present before.
#1. Discuss the problem with someone.
The imagination of a writer is incredibly important. It is not your only asset as a writer, however, and that is what often limits imagery. Discuss your ideas with someone you trust. Interview someone about the plot or idea you want to write about. This conversation will offer you more imagery options that can be included in your writing.
#2. Consider recording yourself.
Writing is often more like a speech that is offered through written words. We often speak with great imagery in our daily conversations with one another without realizing it. Consider recording yourself throughout the day and listen to the words you have to say. That can make it a lot easier to write down the words you want to tell others.
#3. Spend 15 minutes every day in pure visualization.
Find a quiet spot in your home. Go to a favorite park, coffee shop, or even just sit in your car. Then close your eyes and visualize the scenes you wish to include in your book. Look at the closest details through your mind’s eye. Visualize a scene from your story actually playing out. Once you’ve completed the visualization exercise, write down everything that you can remember from the experience.
This can be a powerful way to include imagery in writing.
#4. Use sentence starters to begin an action sequence.
Even when you know what you want to write, it can become difficult at times to include the specific details that make a narrative stand out. When you get stuck, you can still stay creative and engaged with your work by using sentence starters. Take a noun and a verb that you need to discuss and write it down.
For example: John ran.
Now we’re going to expand that thought: John ran fast.
Now let’s add some description: John abruptly ran fast toward the store.
Now let’s go a little deeper: Though tired, John abruptly ran fast toward the store, which was about to close.
Then you can keep going. Keep adding more descriptions to the sentence. This will quickly add meaningful imagery to your narrative so that the reader is able to stay engaged in the world you have created for them.
#5. Swap out your verbs and adjectives.
Every writer has certain verbs and adjectives that they rely upon over the course of a manuscript. Although this can contribute to a writer’s voice, it can also become very repetitive to some readers. After all, how many times can your protagonist smirk?
If you catch yourself using the same verbs and adjectives, then reimagine what the scene is attempting to accomplish. Using the example above, how else could John make it to the store besides running?
John could sprint. He could hurry. He might hustle.
Notice how each of these verbs creates a specific picture in the mind’s eye of the reader. “Ran” is a general term that is descriptive, but not specifically descriptive. By choosing a specific verb that relates to the environment and scenes in your narrative, you can include more imagery in your writing.
Now this doesn’t mean you should break out your thesaurus app and replace every verb or adjective that is repetitive. What you can do is look for generic verbiage and replace it with specific verbiage.
#6. Staple your pants down to your chair and keep writing.
Procrastination is actually the primary reason why there is a lack of imagery in writing for most authors. By putting off your writing, you create an internal trigger that causes you to rush through the creative process later on. You then skip over moments where imagery could be included because you’re trying to meet a tighter deadline that has been set. So sit down at a regular time every day, write as much as you can, and your imagery will improve.
There are numerous ways to include imagery in writing, but these six options offer a reliable solution that every writer can implement right now.