Pimp Your Prose

“One pearl is better than a whole necklace of potatoes,” so said the French mime artist, Etienne Decroux.

In writing, the same applies. One descriptive gem beats a hundred mundane words.

My writing students have been writing descriptively and imaginatively; they have come up with some stunningly strong visual images.

One great rule to remember is to use the names of items, so instead of flowers, use Edelweiss, foxgloves or peonies. For boats, use yacht, skiff or even pedalo. For food, write of dark chocolate, white truffles or popcorn.

Conversely, do not over complicate: rain does not need to be precipitation. It is rain, soft, heavy, incessant.

Use adjectives. Eyes are not blue, they are steely, crinkly, laughing.

Use metaphors, similes and onomatopoeia.

I’ll leave you with this lovely example …

“I looked at the stars, and considered how awful it would be for a man to turn his face up to them as he froze to death, and see no help or pity in all the glittering multitude.” -Dickens, Great Expectations

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