What is "Imagery?"
Imagery is simply putting what you can imagine into words. What you need to do is imagine that you are in your character’s shoes and look around the room. How would you describe your settings to someone who is blind? Pretend you are their seeing eye dog. It may also help you out to write about how you would react to (or what you would think about) the conditions your character is in.
Activity! (because practice makes perfect)See if you can describe either of these images above and make sure you write or type your answer somewhere! When you're done, read your work and try and see if you can imagine what you've written solely based on your words.
The scene is Michaelangelo painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. An example: The only thing that disturbed me is stress. It felt like my stomach was churning; aching. Have I eaten today? Perhaps I skipped lunch. But the moon is out. I didn’t eat dinner, either. Unconsciously, my teeth had begun to grind the only indication of that to me was the small creaking and aching sound of them rubbing against each other. The smell of paint has long gone to my head. Even on the very, very, very limited bathroom breaks I take, I smell paint everywhere. It's almost like the strong stench of books that follow around a librarian or the scent of chalk on a teacher, I am followed by a cloud of paint. There was probably paint in my hair, too. I faintly remember droplets of paint falling from the ceiling and trickling down my face. Now, that spot is unmoving and dry. My hair and my beard has become crusty.
Did you feel like you were there? What helped you to feel as though you were actually in Michaelangelo's shoes? Hint: Imagery.
Any last tips?
- ADJECTIVES ARE YOUR BEST FRIEND.
- Words like “fuzzy” or “nauseating”
- DICTION IS EXACTLY AS IMPORTANT AS EVERY ENGLISH TEACHER STRESSES.
- Sure, the word “smell” works to let the reader know that there is some kind of smell in the air, but what kind of smell is it? If the smell is horrid and sour, a fitting word would be “stench” because it literally means a disgusting smell. On the contrary, if a character is baking some kind of baked good, it is much more fitting to use a word like “scent” because it refers to something that specifically smells pleasant.
Think: Can I make this any easier for someone else to imagine?