Tuesday, February 8, 2011

4 Ways I Translate Mind Pictures Into Words

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By Kay Boeger

Recently, when a member of my critique group said she was having trouble translating the mind pictures she has of her story into words, she asked for some tips. Listed below is my writing process:

For big, complicated scenes (and there are a lot of big complicated scenes in the one I just finished) I put it down in layers.

  1. Dialogue 
             First, just what are the characters saying? I do this first.

      2.   Movement
             Next, are the characters standing?  Are they waving their arms? Shaking their heads?

      3.    Setting 
             Then I go back and add setting - are they outside? Is there a fountain? Is the linoleum old and scarred?

      4.    Feelings

             Last, I add feelings. When the character says "I can't believe you did that," is she incredulous, or angry?
             And before he says, "Well, believe it sweatheart," is he hurt or shocked?

Sometimes the order of the layers changes, but the technique is the same.

 If you've ever watched one of those videos on "How to Draw," the instructor usually starts by drawing a simple circle - something we can all do. Then the instructor adds other basic shapes to the circle and before you know it, you're looking at a cute bunny. I can't draw, but I feel I'm using the same technique when I write.

Do you have a tip that you can add? Let us know you stopped by our blog today. We’d love it if you shared your thoughts with us!

Kay Boeger is a member of Greater Fort Worth Writers and is presently shopping her manuscript with agents. She also has studied horticulture at Tarrant County College and is a certified nursery consultant.


Anonymous said...

I liked your explanation. So simple if you apply it. Do you write mysteries, historicals, or romance?

Ruby Johnson said...

Thanks for sharing your way of writing. It certainly makes it clear how to do a scene.

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