Sunday, February 1, 2009

Writing Experiments

Working on getting better at my descriptive passages, been thinking a bit about how it works too. For instance if I write:
"It was a summer day and the sun was shining brightly."
That's an alright description to get the reader in the right frame of mind but is it the same as:
"It was mid-summer and it was so hot and muggy that the second you stepped outside you were covered in sweat. The sun was a ball of fire in the sky, an evil yellow orb that scorched the earth making the business of living a veritable Hell."

Or how about the classic "It was a dark and stormy night?"
How about if I change it to: "There was no moon that night and the darkness was almost suffocating. The rain fell in sheets, blown back and forth by a vengeful howling wind."
Works better doesn't it?

It works for people too.
"Jim was a pimply faced teenager."
"Jim's face was pocked with old acne scars and fresh new black and white heads, covered by a sheen of oil. Needless to say, puberty had not been kind to Jim."

"Mary was a tramp."
"Mary had had sex with almost every of age male in town and it was whispered that she had lain with a few youngsters too. And a couple dogs, if old Barney's word could be trusted."

I'll have to dig out my copy of Stephen King's On Writing again. That book has a ton of good literary advice that methinks I need. If I remember right there's some good experiments in it that I could try.


Phantom Spitter said...

Kurdt, are you a fan of old pulp mags? Your writing style looks like it.

By the way, how were the EC comics?

Anonymous said...

I did a little piece for English class one day about getting braces. The subject was about being worried, but I took it into a sarcastic tone. Tell me what you think:

"And just like that, my sadistic, vile, cruel butcher... I'm sorry, 'orthodontist'... shoved Satan's tooth-numbing handwork into my gaping maw."

"All in all, it wasn't that bad: at least the noise from the ungodly devices of corrective dentistry drowned out the Tarzan II DVD playing in the doctor's office!"

kurdt said...

When I was in high school I read a lot of old 50s science fiction stuff. Maybe thats where I got it from.
I haven't started reading them yet! I've been putting them off till I'm really in the right mood. I flipped through them and they look really cool! There's lots of articles they stuck in on the writers and the history behind EC. Should be awesome!

Hmmm, seems like you used too many adjectives in a row, Spumkin. You could get the idea across with just a few. I'd either just use vile and cruel or just sadistic.
Or "My sadistic butcher, spawned from the very bowels of Hell itself."
Ick, Tarzan II would probably be worse than a damn root canal!