Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Feeling Fall by Lori Bates Wright | Guest Post + GIVEAWAY

Two things you should know about me:

First of all, I absolutely love (cartwheels through the pumpkin patch ADORE!) autumn.

Secondly, I am first and foremost a romance writer so I obviously I like prose that makes me feel something. Emotional elements are vital to taking a story beyond good to flat out fabulous.

So combining the two makes perfect sense. What better inspiration to practice multi-sensory writing than from a glorious autumn backdrop? Fall can be a treasure trove of sensory prompts. By the time September finally arrives after another scorching summer of Texas heat, I am more than ready to break out the big plastic tub of fall decorations and delight in each cherished piece. One by one each item evokes a memory, transports me to another time when through sight, smell, touch, taste or sound and I am stirred to feel what fall means to me. Good writing can accomplish much the same thing by using words to evoke a certain tone , setting the stage for what you want your reader to feel.
“When a story, even when crafted with beautiful sentences, fails to have the all-important quality of ‘emotional resonance,’ often the writer has rendered only the surface, the external shell, the things that happen— the plot —without dipping beneath that surface of story events.”

~ Q. Lindsey Barrett
How do you craft a story to engage the heart as well as the head? You make your reader feel what your characters feel through descriptive imagery using all five senses. Beyond saying your forlorn protagonist is sad, show her staring off into a variegated sunset while the lonesome call of a violin plays from somewhere behind her. You get the picture. Good descriptive phrasing can make the difference between flat, one-dimensional writing to prose that comes off the page and lingers in your mind long after you’ve turned the page.
“We read textbooks to comprehend; we read literature to feel.”

~ Jessica Morrell, Master Writing Teacher and Editor
With the crisp fall breeze comes the promise of all things cozy and familiar. I love the vibrant colors, the smell of wood burning in the fireplace, and the sounds of a high school football game. Even better if I’m wrapped in a warm hoody and enjoying hot cocoa in a thermos. What other fall-ish things prompt your descriptive imagination?

Here are a few suggestions to get you going: 

Sights:
  • Amazing Colors – leaves start their gorgeous transformation
  • Huge, lit-up ferris wheel at the State Fair
  • Days get shorter and the big Harvest Moon makes an appearance
  • Perfect rows of an apple orchard Pumpkins everywhere! 

by Sam Wheeler

Sounds:
  • The crackle of leaves beneath your boots
  • In Texas it’s cricket season – not the kind you play with a ball and mallet – the chirping kind that can get so loud by dusk it’s hard to hear yourself think. (would be great backdrop for a suspense scene)
  • It’s also pecan season here, so the sound of shelling pecans is definitely an autumn staple
  • Falling asleep to the sound of rain (its been 41 days without rain as I write this in August. Sooooo ready for this one!)
Smells:
  • The smell of smoke from fireplaces
  • Downy Fabric Softener– Yes, I use Downy in the rinse cycle mostly in cooler weather months for sweaters, blankets, scarves, flannel sheets, etc. So, Downy smells like fall to me.
  • Spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla bean, ginger, and clove
  • Thanksgiving - oh my goodness! Where to start?
Tastes:
  • It’s harvest time at Farmer’s market, so root vegetables are in abundance
  • Chili and stews
  • Apple, pecan and pumpkin pies
  • Carmel apples
From Flicker by Browniesfordinner

Touch:
  • Warm cozy sweaters
  • Hot pumpkin-spiced latte
  • The crisp breeze though an open window
  • Cuddling

Helping your reader identify with your characters is what will cause your reader to care about your characters and ultimately care about what happens to them. You don’t need to use all five sensory prompts at once, just layer in a couple at a time to make your work come alive. And in the mean time, enjoy the magnificent sights, sounds, tastes and smells of fall!

How does fall inspire you? 

Readers, Em here: Make sure you leave a comment for Lori to enter for a chance to win this amazing giveaway. Lori has picked out some amazing things of fall here!!! Can't wait to see who wins the lovely "fall starter kit" as I'm affectionately calling it. Thanks again for being on the blog Lori!
_______________________________

Lori Bates Wright has been writing for over 20 years. She spent 7 years as a reviewer for The Literary Times and Romantic Times magazines. She's written several allegorical Bible studies, is on the road to seeing one of her three historical romance novels in print. As Women’s Ministry Director for her church, she enjoys speaking and interacting with women of all ages.

Raised in New Mexico, Lori now lives in Texas with her husband of 35 years. They have two grown children and four adorable grand boys.
Find Lori on Twitter @ladylbw