Friday, April 14, 2006

Vibrant and True

Memory is a crazy woman that hoards colored rags and throws away food. ~Austin O'Malley

It's 3 PM on Friday, and I'm in that sleepy late-afternoon mode. My brain is a little foggy, and nothing feels urgent or even very interesting. If I were a cat I would totally be stretched out on a windowsill in the sun.

As it is I'm typing on my blog and having a cup of creamy tea. Perhaps that's the human equivalent?

I'm not sure if it's the tea or the cloudy, windy day outside my windows, but I keep reminiscing about the year I spent in England, back in college. I remember then the sheer joy in April seeing the first daffodils, after all that rain. I remember walking across the green, wet fields to get tea in an ancient stone house, eating scones with fresh strawberry jam and clotted cream while sitting by a leaded glass window, laughing with friends. I remember sitting alone on a hill in Aberystwyth, Wales, the ruins of a 12th-century castle cool against my back, the sea crashing far below. I remember taking a train up to London to see a West End play, just for the hell of it, and riding back drunk on theatre, lying facedown on the cracked leather seat of the coach car, peering out the window at England.

Of course that's not near the whole of my year abroad, and I didn't tell you any specifics: where I was, why I was there, anything. But aren't those vivid images? They're vivid in my mind; they stand out true and sharp, multicolored, filled with all the senses.

This is what scenes should be like. If you can get those emotions, those details, those colors of life in there, it will all seem real. It will be real. Your readers will want to go back and re-read, so they can experience THAT again, that moment, that vibrance. They will want to lie there on the train seat, sit there on that hill in Wales, because it's alive to them. Make it happen. Make it real. Bring vibrance and life into your writing, and we'll want to read it.

Medieval Word of the Day: tapisser: A maker or weaver of figured cloth or tapestry.

No comments: