Imagery. Imagery. Imagery.
Imagery is the foundation of all good writing – poetry. Short stories. Speeches. Novels. Movies. Opinion pieces.
Writers have to work hard to create powerful images which pull and position readers to see the scene. Powerful imagery or one single image can carry a whole idea.
1. A picture paints a thousand words
Writers have to make words work hard to create powerful images.
Typically, many works will start with a sensory description to evocatively describe a setting.
For example look at the opening line of The Drover’s Wife by Henry Lawson – it’s very simple but clearly establishes a strong sense of place in the opening lines.
The two-roomed house is built of round timber, slabs, and stringy-bark, and floored with split slabs. A big bark kitchen standing at one end is larger than the house itself, veranda included.
2. Use the senses
Great writers always use sensory imagery to lift and animate a scene. If you want to lift your writing write down what can your character:
If you do this, your writing will instantly lift off the page.
Look at how Wilfred Owen uses sound in Anthem for a Doomed Youth:
the monstrous anger of the guns. (sound)
Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle...(sound)
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells; (sound)
And he ends this poem with a final killer image in the last line -
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds. (see)
These powerful images convey his message and leave a lasting impression on the reader.
We explain how you can utilise creating powerful images in your own writing in both of our books: Creative Writing and Persuasive Writing which you can see here: