Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Painting with words

The only way a writer can conjure up an image in someone's mind is by using strong but not over burdensome words. Like a painter, the brush strokes must be light at sometimes and heavy at others. This is probably the hardest thing I struggle with because I am a lover of the conversation, and my books will tend to be very thick on dialogue.
But people need the scene and descriptive images to help lend body to the voice of what the characters are saying. I find myself constantly going back to a scene to rearrange the words in such a way that the picture is immediately in the person's mind prior to a word being spoken.

I've pasted a couple of excerpts of scenes from my second book, The Dragons Redress, that without it the dialogue that follows would seem hollow. I have shared these in other forums, but witholding certain words and conversations as that would give away too much of the story than I am willing to reveal. Nor will I reveal it here. ;-)

...Quick as a flash, a thickly-muscled arm slammed into her head and dazed her. Then with a vice-like grip, a hand encircled her neck and lifted Luel off of the ground. She made gurgling sounds in her throat as she struggled for breath. Her head started to clear somewhat and she could make out the features of this man she once called (identity withheld). Aside from the black eyes, his face was hard and angular. Eriyn’s mouth was drawn in a thin line, and his brow was furrowed in a menacing scowl. She caught a faint whiff of sulfur on his breath. Recognition seemed to slowly dawn on him as he released her, allowing her to fall to the ground....

...Luel knew she had to flee and warn Braylynn. She launched herself straight up, but Eriyn anticipating she might try something like this quickly reached out a hand and grabbed her by one of her wings. He yanked, and with the might of a demon lord to aid him, the wing made a ripping sound like a sheet torn in two as it separated from her body.
Luel let out a skin-crawling wail, the like of which was never heard from a faerie. Her body crashed to the ground and set off sparks in her head as the blood pooled around her. She tried desperately to stand before he killed her, pushing up with her hands only to have them slide in the blood soaked grass...