Friday, 4 February 2011

Painting With Words

Have you ever thought about how much writing is like painting? Just as a good artist can paint a picture whose bright colors and scenery, or whose fine detail or majestic subject draws you to it, so a great writer can do the same with words.

I've been thinking a lot about this lately. I love a story that takes me away to far off places, and brings those places alive in my mind. You know the kind. The minute you start reading, you are somewhere else--in a castle, on an airplane, in the mountains, in the jungle, in someone's head, in another galaxy--and you can see, in your mind's eye, through writer's wordsmith wizardry, the place described in vivid color or shades of gray or shadow.

I also love a story that gets my emotions going--that allows me to feel what the characters feel. As the good writing artist continues, describing situations, sharing character's feelings, building up suspense, you can feel what the character's feel--wet, sloppy, snow against your face; cold that chills you to the bone; fear of the unknown; steamy, hot jungle air; the smell of Indian spices--the list could go on forever.

Another aspect I love about truly artistic writing, and perhaps I should have placed this first, are great characters--believable characters, lovable characters, nasty villains I love to hate. I thrill when a writer helps me see a character, hear a character--know a character. I can hear that character's voice. I can understand what they are feeling, or at least be hooked enough to want to understand and learn more.

What I've described above is only a small part of what I believe makes a writer like a painter--a few of the many things I love. What do you like? In what ways is a writer like a painter to you? Let me know.


Rebecca said...

This is a wonderful post! I feel the same way. I also agonize about making the experience as real as I can in my own writing. That's partly why I fear trying to get published, because I worry that a manuscript won't ever be "done enough".

But painting with words is a very good way to describe it. I actually compared it to a symphony in a post I wrote earlier today. It's funny how all the arts can be compared to each other. I love the thought of looking at writing as art. Thank you!

Great post, and nice to meet you!

Rebecca said...

You might consider putting a "followers" button up there so people can easily keep up with your blog. :)

CL Beck, author said...

What I love is when a writer paints the picture so well that the story seems real to me ... and I think about it long after I'm done with the book, as if it was someplace I'd been in real life.

Oh ... before I forget ... thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting on my LOL Cats article. Glad it made you laugh. :)