How to write fiction | Imagination
I’ve used another interesting picture this week to fire your imagination. I won’t literally set you on fire, that is a rhetorical device; this blog has a list of 50 of them. I can’t remember the names of all 50, but I remember the basics and that is to use language and words that gets a emotional response from the reader. Some words are as sharp as a butcher’s knife and some are as soft as a baby’s bottom. Imagination is very useful, but so is a good knowledge of words.
Synonyms are words with more or less the same meaning like happy and elated. Homonyms sound the same, but have different meanings like Hugh, ewe and you. I like to use oxymoron’s, like pretty ugly and that pink white elephant for when I refer to a certain art thingy in West Bromwich. Organised chaos is a good oxymoron that could be worth remembering. An Auxesis is a rhetorical device meaning an exaggeration such as “What did your last slave die of?”.
Rhetorical devices are most useful when writing comedy. “I have a terrible memory, I was going to mention it to my doctor, but I keep forgetting…” Understatement is a useful rhetorical device used in humour a lot as in “I had a little drink about an hour ago and it’s gone right to my head,” they are song lyrics but the use of ‘little drink’ was effective.
The most useful thing is of course is, imagination. If you can imagine a person; you can write about that person and their environment, their emotions, their adventure, their life. You can imagine the places and the people and then fit all the pieces of the jigsaw together and you have a story with a beginning, a middle and an end. Then tell your story and try to get an emotional response from your reader. You might want your reader to understand, empathise or join in with your fantasy and imagine themselves in the story. The rhetorical nature of the story can provoke an emotional response from the reader, they might feel happy, sad, empathic, excited or amused, but they should most of all be entertained.
If you are writing a crime mystery, you might want your reader to be intrigued and curious as to who committed the crime, why they committed the crime or how they committed the crime and so they follow the investigation and feel intrigued and try to guess who dunnit!
The reader will often identify with the protagonist or one of the main characters and you should encourage them to do that. Most guys would like to be James Bond and most women fancy themselves as a Bond girl.
We tend to enjoy doing what we are good at and we seem to be able to do it almost without thinking. Writer’s get writer’s block when we think too much. It seems like when we are typing at full speed and the words just flow; when our imagination is fired up; that we are inspired to write. Then we can write quite easily and with conviction. I did some writing for a friend a while back and he set me a challenge and so it was fun and it was easy. He was impressed and said I didn’t learn to write I was born to write! When we are good at something we enjoy it and so try to enjoy using words to tell the story; that story that came to life in your imagination and that draws it’s inspiration from sources that only you know.
Good luck, write a short story, a novella or a novel, but let your imagination inspire the words and the words inspire the reader to dream.
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