Thursday, Oct 09, 2008

Color Your Writing

Dear Power Writers,

I’m writing to you from the majestic Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts. My husband and I are here for a few days celebrating our 39th wedding anniversary before heading back to Jersey for my nephew’s wedding tomorrow. 

Autumn is nearly in full bloom here, with its brilliant colors accenting the magnificent fir trees that cover the mountainside. As I drank in the beauty, I couldn’t help think how splashes of color can transform an ordinary landscape into a work of art. Likewise, splashes of color in our writing can transform an ordinary piece of writing into a work of art. 

How can we add color to our writing? Here are some tips: 

1) Use strong verbs. Verbs convey images and are the backbone of excellent writing. When you use a strong verb, you don’t need an adverb. 

2) Vary your sentence structure. Variety is not only the spice of life; it is also the spice of good writing. Make sure that you spice up your declarative sentences with compound and complex ones. 

3) Use specific nouns. Instead of saying “dog”, say “collie” or “golden retriever”. Instead of saying “house”, say “log cabin” or “mansion” or “shack”. The more specific, the better. Specific nouns enable your reader to picture what you are writing, and the clearer the picture, the more vibrant the writing. 

Go through your current writing project, and check your verbs, your sentence structure, and your nouns. Add splashes of color to your writing and bring it to life. 




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5 thoughts on “Color Your Writing

  1. Hi MaryAnn –

    Happy anniversary!

    I’m drawn to writing that paints a picture. Without the visual aspect, the words are one-dimensional and fail to transport the me to the story world.

    Thanks for the tips.

    Susan 🙂

    October 10, 2008 at 11:08 AM

  2. Oh, to be in New England when the leaves are turning! How wonderful for you. Happy Anniversary.

    I don’t homeschool my daughter, Mary, anymore … but I’m still teaching her and we talked about this very thing this week while she was working on writing a story for her English class. She’s a creative kid and is willing to listen to my suggestions. It’s amazing. HA!

    And her teachers always enjoy her stories.

    October 10, 2008 at 1:11 PM