Sorry. I digress. It’s just hard to sit inside and write while outside our turkey gobbles at his reflection through the winter grunge of our bedroom window and our faithful coonhound bays at a plastic bag snagged on a remnant stalk of weed poking out of the bright green clump of emerging grasses. Ha! You thought I was going to say something corny like a light breeze ruffling the tree leaves or the scent of newly mown grass, right?
Fooled you. Just like spring brings new life onto the land, so too must we breathe new life into overused, overrated descriptions.
This is not as easy as it sounds which is why we will always read about tires squealing down a road and the moisture laden fog of the morning dawn. I’m not inferring that writers are lazy; I’m just saying re’s a lot of mental gymnastics go into the hewing of a new phrase (no mere turning allowed today).
Unique phrases and description can become an author’s trademark.
It’s one more method to help your work stand out among the legion of competition out there. Think creative, think dynamic.
Think everyday experiences.
Know your setting and characters so well you can bring in description seamlessly to your character’s train of thought. The reader doesn’t even realize they are absorbing the sights and sounds of the setting through your character’s eyes.
Unique dialogue sets a character apart also.
You’ve gotta love Ziva David of NCIS fame. Here’s a character the men can adore and women admire. Besides being just cute, Ziva offers a very logical example of breathing new life into our old clichés as a foreigner speaking English well, but not perfectly.
Ziva: I did not know you were a pool dolphin, Tony.
Tony: Pool shark. And yes, I was.
What did Ziva’s innocent turn of the English language do? It tipped Tony off -balance. It made him stumble to correct her and his execution of whatever great line he’d planned to say falls flat. It woke the audience up.
Same in books.
So, what have you done to press your stamp of uniqueness into your writing? Let me tempt you to play. Leave a comment and there’s a box of lovely assorted chocolates and a $10 Barnes and Noble gift card in one lucky commenter’s future. Chocolate is always a good pick-me-up when the words slug along. Gotta send chocolates before it gets too hot to mail!