Making It Real

To draw your readers into your story, fully exploit their senses.

1. Quality. The dress was lemon yellow. The bath was scalding. The gum ball was sour.

2. Intensity. The tea was far stronger when Grandma made it. Susie’s ball gown far brighter than Sally’s. Sam liked to turn the music up full-blast, when the radio was tuned to the station that played his favorite bands.

3. Duration. The headache lasted all morning. Six minutes felt like six months, while we waited to hear some news from the operating room. From two to five each afternoon, the boy walked in the fragrant garden.

4. Clearness. How closely a character observes his surroundings will influence the vividness of his impressions. A dull day in the office will be forgotten at quitting time while the last day of an ill-fated romance may be recalled in detail fifty years hence.

Make it real!

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