Monday, February 4, 2013

Pictures , Description and Comparisons for Writing.

A Squid Ship!
When writing science fiction or fantasy, you’re often thinking of things that don’t exist. This makes it harder to picture. So sometimes I resort to using pictures to help with description. Usually, I can find an image to help. This one came from a stock art website, and I used it to help describe the ship. 

Another method I use for description is to compare the object to something that a reader already knows. This ship reminded me of a squid because of those long pointy tail-like projections. Although there are no squids on Mars all the people are educated on Earth creatures and they’ve seen videos, so when looking at it they could think of those pointy tail-like things as tentacles. I also liked using a “squid” comparison because squids in general can be associated with something that is lurking in a dark place that can grab you and squeeze.  This ship isn’t friendly, so I went with it. A quick comparison can also help the reader visualize something using fewer words.  In “Visionary of Peace” they sometimes called this ship a “Squiddie."

What is the involvement of this Squiddie you might wonder? You dear, reader are going to find out all about this ship soon because I’m on the verge of publishing “Visionary of Peace” (Vallar 2).  Feb 15th is my deadline. Yeah....

This brings up another less favorite, but important method of mine. As a final phase, I’ve been listening to it on my Kindle. This is a great way to catch typos and other errors. The only problem with listening to it is that my mind wants to wander because that robotic Kindle voice puts me into an instant state of boredom. I tend to look for other things to do at the same time like play simple games. Bejeweled or Angry Birds are the top choices. I tried to play a little Guildwars 2, but found I had to think too much to listen properly.  Another thing I have been doing, is listening or reading while on the treadmill. However, if I hear a mistake, it causes an interruption in the routine.  I have to slow down and find the pause button the Kindle. Then I have to find whatever I heard was wrong. This can involve flipping pages. Then (since I have the Kindle with the keyboard) I type in the word “Fix” or something that lets me know of the problem. Usually they’re self explanatory.

So have a great week everyone, and come back tomorrow for a guest post by Charity Bradford author of “The Magic Wakes” a new book of science fiction and fantasy. I think I’m the first blog tour stop…as far as I know. Not sure how that happened either, but I think it's cool.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Images from movies and shows help me to envision what I am describing.
Cool you can use your Kindle to catch typos.
Will be back for Charity! Think you are first, as I think I am one of the last of her stops.

PT Dilloway, Superhero Author said...

I just read mine on the Kindle so I can highlight and make notes as I go. I have been listening to other books on the Kindle during my commute since I realized I could plug the Kindle into the line in for the car's stereo. It's funny how it mispronounces words, even common ones like "lunged" and "putting". My favorite is "C'Mon" which it says as "See Monday".

Jay Noel said...

I could never listen to that robot voice. It would put me into a coma. I do like the idea of reading it, however.

That pic with the squid ship is pretty amazing!

Michael Offutt, Speculative Fiction Author said...

That sounds like a creative way to use the kindle. I haven't done that myself. I should try I suppose.

Rusty Webb said...

Good advice for sure. I tend to read my stories on the kindle as I'm writing (since emailing to the kindle is so easy) and it helps me as I go.