What in the world? You’ve just finished your latest and (hopefully) your greatest story. You’ve let your friends read it and of course, they liked it. They’re your friends. You also read it to Rex, asleep in the corner of your office. He gave a yawn of approval too. So, you proofread your manuscript and proofread some more. Is the punctuation okay? Check. Does each word move the story along? Check. What’s wrong with it? Try reading it to Rex again and listen to your words. Forget about your friends and family since they’re just going to tell you what you want to hear. There. Hear that? Read that section again. There’s no life in your character nor is there good description in the narrative. You have write visually and bring your book to life.
What is writing visually? It’s something we’ve all heard before. Show, don’t tell. For those of you who haven’t heard those particular words here’s my definition: It’s when you reader is able to put himself/herself in your book. You should engage all five senses to do this. Let your readers feel Jason punch Harry without warning. Let Mary smell those fragrant roses. Describe these sentences so your readers can feel that punch or smell the rose. Have your characters talk naturally. Describing in a few words what they feel (emotionally), see, question, etc. Also, people aren’t robots in real life. When was the last time you saw someone talking and their expression never changed, they didn’t talk with their hands, or they didn’t fix their hair when the wind blew?
For instance: Keira left school. “I’m going to the mall,” she said to Sasha. Here’s the same sentence brought to life. Keira raced down the hall stopping when she saw Sasha putting her books in the locker. “I’m going to the mall after school,” she puffed. “Wanna come?” “Sure! Wait a sec until I fix my hair. Maybe that new guy will be there.” Which description would you rather have in your manuscript? Which one shows more instead of tells?
Take a look at these sentences: The three young people climbed the hill. Okay. Now read this: As the three friends climbed, they swatted flies away from their faces. Bees buzzed around them while low-hanging tree branches smacked them in the face. Which sentence shows more thus giving it life?
The trick is to give your characters some character not only in the dialogue but in the narrative as well. In the narrative, your reader can see them struggling up that hill. In dialogue they can see, feel the emotions of the girls and relate to them.
Here’s a video by The Three Minute Writing Teacher that will help you along the way to bring your book to life!
I’ve also found some books, blogs, or websites that will help you with this.
Word Magic for Writers by Cindy Rogers http://www.amazon.com/Word-Magic-Writers-Cindy-Rogers/dp/1889715247/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1420086148&sr=1-1&keywords=word+magic+for+writers
You Can Write Children’s Books by Tracey E. Dils http://www.amazon.com/You-Can-Write-Childrens-Books/dp/1582975736/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1420086272&sr=1-1&keywords=you+can+write+children%27s+books
Picture Writing by Anastasia Suen http://www.amazon.com/Picture-Writing-Write-kids-library/dp/1582970726/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1420086481&sr=1-1&keywords=picture+writing
How To Write Visually by Donald L. Vasicek http://www.donvasicek.com/writing/how-to-write-visually/