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.