Week of January 13, 2013: Painting with Words
Friday, January 18—Imagery
Imagery: All language used to provoke a sensory (not just visual)
reaction in the reader
Imagery can ground the reader.
Most writers are good with visual details. (Interestingly, as picture book writers, we
use visual details less than novelists because we work with an illustrator who will be
showing those visual details.) However, when writing, don’t forget the other senses of
hearing, taste, touch, and smell. Joyce said, “Smells are evocative,” and that by using
the sense of smell in our writing the reader can be transported to a place, time, or
Imagery is developed through revision and is seldom established in the first draft.
It’s something you consciously look for when revising.
For You To Do:
I’ve mentioned Owl Moon by Jane Yolen several times this week. The voice is so
strong in Yolen’s work that it can be a model for us of how to strengthen our own
writing. Type up the text of Owl Moon. Then use a colored pencil for each of the
senses (sight, smell, taste, touch, feeling). Using your colored pencils, underline
the imagery found in Yolen’s text. I think you’ll be amazed how “colorful” and
image-filled the piece is.