Reading Circles – Drawing Pictures with Words

Hey y’all! You ready to sink your teeth into something new? If you’re wondering about the trajectory of these Reading Circles, just to give you a bit of a guideline: we started up with some writing inspiration with A Writer’s Book of Days, then we moved into mentorship and dreaming about writing well by looking at The Giver. Now we’re heading into nuts and bolts. First up, we’ll delve into description and setting, then plot and structure, character planning and development, and then move into self-editing, and eventually, publishing. In between bigger projects, I’ll continue to throw interesting articles and author interviews your way. How is that plan working for you?

Also, if at any point, you come across something you think will be a good read for our group, feel free to pass it along to me and I’ll be happy to share and discuss it here!

*     *     *

Ok, so here’s my spiel on our next read.

Have you ever struggled to find a way to bring a character or setting or situation to light? Wanted to find vivid and colorful descriptions? Do you ever feel your writing falls flat and needs some vim, some oomph, pizzazz or vigor?

Do you ever feel you have trouble extending scenes, and filling out spaces you know need to draw out more, either to build tension, set the proper tone, or mete out the perfect rhythm?

If you answered yes to any of the above, this next read is for you – whether you write blog posts or grand opuses.

Our next Reading Circle read is Ron Rozelle’s Write Great Fiction: Description and Setting.

Write Great Fiction is a fantastic series with each book tackling one aspect of writing – such a great resource for writers! So we’ll read a few chapters each week, and then I have some exercises for us to try out together and share here. You can do the exercises straight up, post them on your blog, and link them up here, or you can even work the exercises into blog posts you’re already writing and link those up! Sound fun?

We’ll start with the first chapters next week, to give everyone time to get a copy of the book. In the meantime, I’d like you to just take a minute to think about: 1) what kind of descriptions or descriptive writing you find challenging, and 2) what are your go-to words that you use all.the.time and therefore need to nix from your writing vocabulary.

Here are some of mine:
moment
this life
and then
but
deep, deeper
lightness and darkness
as metaphor
vague superlatives like: great, fantastic, lovely, awesome
and adverbs of any kind.

What are some of yours?

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4 responses to “Reading Circles – Drawing Pictures with Words

  1. Thinking that with all my races being over I’ll have more time to read…and this might assist me during our writing circles. I use vividly, As I…, any sort of nature metaphor flowers growing, paths in woods…, lovely. I know there’s more but can’t think of them. 🙂

  2. I’m terrified to learn what words or phrases I overuse! I feel like I’m really bad about just dashing something off without taking a lot of time to polish it, and that probably leads to much word-garbage.

    Is it possible to HIRE somebody to tell me the answers to the above questions? (kind of kidding, kind of serious…)

    • Hehehe…well, you could always hire a professional editor, but THAT will cost you a pretty penny, let me tell you! 🙂

      If it helps, I haven’t noticed you overusing particular phrases or metaphors, so if you do, at least it’s not obvious! And I think, once we have a little tag in our head to make an effort to use fresh and precise descriptives and avoid cliches or the first thing that comes to mind, we create a practice of widening our literary vocabulary, and any articles that have overstayed their welcome will start becoming noticeable.

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