Using Vivid Imagery To Enhance Your Story

By on May 7, 2020

Creating a world and a cast of characters that your readers can effortlessly picture is one of the key ingredients to writing a successful novel. The way to do this is by carefully choosing words that create crisp, clear images - ones that not only help your readers visualize the scene but also help to enhance the story overall. 

So how do we do this? 

Scene setting to highlight significant changes

A change of scene can indicate something big is about to happen in your story. Placing your characters in particular locations at specific times is a useful tool to demonstrate to the reader that changes are afoot, and by using evocative imagery to create a sense of place, you can build the drama and tension that leads up to this dramatic turning point in the plot. 

Reveal more about a character through the places they like to be

Where we like to spend our time speaks volumes about us as people. A character who wants to spend most of their time at home in front of the TV will have a very different personality to one who is always out hiking in the countryside. By taking the time to describe the places that your characters like to be, readers will get a better insight into the kind of people they are too. 

Create suspense and build tension

Use your setting to create suspense and increase the tension in your story. If places have a particular feel to them, this will indicate to the reader that something terrible might happen here, thus increasing tension. If they have an air of mystery, this can add to the suspense and ensure your readers will be desperate to find out more. 

Create a particular tone or mood

A vivid description of the setting can also work wonders in creating a particular tone or mood. If your characters live in a beautiful, serene, space brimming with energy and color, the atmosphere will feel very different to those who are barely surviving in a dark, dank squat with mold creeping up the walls and water leaking through the roof.

Using vivid imagery and thoughtful, creative descriptions can significantly improve your story on several levels. By carefully choosing language that paints an evocative, arresting picture in your reader’s mind’s eye, you will fully immerse them in the world you have created and ensure they remain engaged and involved from the very beginning to the very end. 

bethany cadman
Bethany Cadman - bethanycadman.co.uk

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