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If you want to write words that pack a punch, the most invaluable thing to remember is that it is not the words themselves that have impact, but rather the IMAGES they conjure up in the reader's mind. If you are writing a gruesome horror, then describing every single detail about a mutilated-zombie-feasting-off-the-flesh-of-the-living is just going to be boring. Why? Because it leaves nothing to the reader's imagination! The best horror is IMPLIED horror. Make your reader aware that the zombie is eating the poor soul. Their own imagination can take it from there, so long as you imply what is happening, rather than explicitly say so. A clever technique, and one that Stephen King frequently uses, is to give a point-of-view description of the horrific scene where the viewer can only see a small fraction of the event. Once you have what the viewer sees, your own imagination is limitless and it creates a infinite landscape of gruesome possibilities. Far better than being told every single detail of what's going on! Similarly with sexually explicit material, it is the implication that can conjure more intense imagery in the reader's mind, rather than the outright description, which will never live up to the same expectations: In conclusion, you have to ask yourself, which is more powerful, the printed word or the reader's mind? And it's the latter every time.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|