I think one of the reasons I am having so much trouble writing lately is that I haven't been reading enough. At all. Lately I've mainly been reading blogs, the
news, and knitting patterns. None of which are particularly inspiring in the fiction genre.
An example of how I write without having read in a while, and how reading helps.
Ok, so my heroine has just arrived in a new location, better describe it.
The building was big.
Oy vey. We can do better than that.
The hotel was tall.
Chorus: How tall was it?
The hotel stretched into the sky until clouds obscured the top from view.
Wow. That is tall. Ok. But it needs more.
It gleamed -
Don't use 'it'!
The imposing building reflected bright beams of sunlight into our heroines eyes.
Ouch. Ok, how does she feel?
Every instinct in her body told her this was not a place she wanted to enter.
Ok, so what does she do?
We can do better than that. Except now we're tired of writing this description, and it feel like it's taking to long. So, it's time for cliche.
Heart and feet heavy, she wearily entered the building.
Now, a recap.
The hotel stretched into the sky until clouds obscured the top from view. The imposing building reflected bright beams of sunlight into our heroines eyes. Every instinct in her body told her this was not a place she wanted to enter. Heart and feet heavy, she wearily entered the building.
It certainly is a description. Now, lets see how one of my favorite authors describes a similar scene:
"I didn't know the way exactly and part of me worried that I might miss the place. I didn't. How could anyone have? It had been transformed into a gleaming twenty-six story Bahaus Modern-Art deco symphony of glass and steel, with flags of various nations waving along the driveway, smartly uniformed doormen hailing taxis, a glass elevator shooting up to a penthouse restaurant. A bas-relief of a dolphin was set into one of the marble columns by the entrance, beneath which the inscription read:
And it goes on. Contrary to what you might think, reading other peoples writing actually frees me, rather than depresses me. It reminds me:
1) While it may take you forever to write 3 sentences, it does not take the average adult that long to read them. Don't base your pacing on how long it takes to write.
2) Writing is not an A-B-C procedure. If you follow some self-imposed formula everytime you write a description it'll be both boring to write and boring to read.
3) With that in mind, be creative, have fun, don't be afraid to write something and have it not make sense. You are allowed to edit it later.
4) Don't be afraid of long sentences.
5) Be interesting. Don't describe things in cliches.
6) I'm totally allowed to write things like I did above to get them out of my system, but I must fix them in post. Because I can write more better.