22 thoughts on “What does this mean to you?

  1. you should paint such a vivid picture that the reader knows what to think and how to feel even though you haven’t told them to think or feel it. King doesn’t tell his readers Frannie loves her dad, he shows it by all the effort she goes to to bury him on her own in the heat of July. Vividly constructs that scene so you feel her emotions, you smell her sweat.

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  2. Each reader brings something different to the page – their own experience. That comes into play with every description. If I say a character walked to the refrigerator, you and I likely picture something different and what matches our own refrigerators. And unless there’s something unusual about the narrative fridge, nothing more about it need be said.

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  3. I think of the contrast between two successful writers, Dan Koontz and the man you took the quote from. Koontz will take two pages to describe a single tree so that you feel like you’re looking at a photograph of the tree. He’ll describe the roots, the bark, the color, the movement of the leaves, etc.

    Stephen King will mention a tree that looks like it has arms reaching out to strangle you. He planted the seed in your mind and the rest is up to you to conjure up what that tree looks like. Ten different people may see it ten different ways. He sparks your imagination instead of beating it senseless.

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