I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Friday, September 21, 2012

My Collection

Teri here:  My mother collects figurines. I counted 12 from the chair I’m sitting in as I write. But not me. I don’t collect recipe books, postage stamps, old coins, or antiques. 
Even though it’s a bit odd, I collect word-painting tips.  I glean them from books, the Internet, My Book Therapy Retreats, American Christian Fiction Writers conferences, and even a Jerry Jenkin’s writing conference. I apologize that I cannot remember exactly where each tip came from, but I present to you my collection of word-painting tips.

·      Use one sense to
 describe something usually characterized by another sense.  For instance, a bunny’s fur could be whisper-like soft.  This combines the sound of a whisper and the feel of fur.
  Or consider a backyard barbeque-smoked summer day. 

   Attach an emotion/attitude to adjective
--timid pink cheeks
--cheery red lips
--sassy dimple in her chin
--arrogant cheekbones

·      Use an hyphenated adjective to make a short-cut metaphor
--pirate-green eyes
--playboy-blue eyes

·      Use a noun as an adjective
--a California commute
--a hubby breakfast
--helicopter hair
--a frog wart
--cardboard courage

·      Use one of the senses to remind the character of an emotion in the past
--the aroma of a pumpkin pie evokes the feeling of family get-togethers
--cheep perfume reminds him of his high school girlfriend’s betrayal

·      Use all five senses: too often we limit ourselves to what is seen and heard, but smells, tastes, and tactile surfaces can add a spark of reality that draws the read in.

·      Use the senses to create the mood of the scene


  1. Good and helpful stuff, Teri. If you're here, at ACFW, I want to SEE you (& hug your neck).

    1. Thanks for the hug, my friend. So wonderful to huddle together, pray and cry!

  2. Teri! I will bookmark this post! I love the advice you've given us. It was so good to see you at the MBT Pizza Party!! And our prayer time was so special.