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Painting a picture in the mind of the reader

Updated: Sep 30

Which conveys more emotion? “You want a divorce?” Or? His chest heaved, his eyes filled with tears, his heart pounded so hard he was sure she could hear it. “Yo…you…want a…divorce.” A few minutes ago, he felt life could not get better. Now it was over.

He asks her to marry him. Or? A young couple stood in the park, holding hands. The light of a full moon filtered through the leaves of a giant oak. Her lips curled in the cute smile he loved. This was the moment he prayed for and waited for. He is glad they are in the shadow of the street lamp. This way, she couldn’t see the flush on his cheeks. He goes to one knee. He fumbles with the small box in his sweaty hand. His mouth is dry. The words almost die in his throat. The next few seconds will determine if they form a partnership that will last a lifetime or if they go their separate ways. Quietly he chokes out.” Will you marry me?” He has rehearsed these words a hundred times today. Her eyes fill with tears, spilling over running down her cheeks. “Yes or yes, “she cries. He sighs with relief.

The killer chased her. Or? The trees flash past. Terror is tearing her heart out. She is bawling. Tears fly off her flushed cheeks. She screams, but there is no one to hear her pleading. Death is coming. He is seconds behind her; the knife raised in his hand. She stumbles going down. She’s up in an instant. He slashes, missing her shoulder by an inch. She cries “Please God. Help me. Oh, please help me.” Will God hear her? She’s not sure. But the killer does. He has killed before. Her heart pounds sweat and tears mix dripping off her chin, flying off her ears. The hunting knife slashes this time, finding its mark.

The writer’s job is to help the reader see the story. If we cannot convey the emotions, the narrative will fall flat. We, as authors, paint a picture the reader can see, feel, and experience. We put the reader in the middle of the action.

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