A to Z Challenge – Day 5: E is for Evoke

Hi all,

Well, it’s the first weekend of the challenge already! I’m quite enjoying it, though must admit with a busy weekend planned where I’m stuck working all day Saturday and then have a parental visit then perhaps it’s just as well there are no posts on a Sunday πŸ™‚

tumblr_mqca5ijZzD1saw4q1o1_500Anyway, my E is for Evoke. It comes from a very well known writing quote from E.L.Doctorow, and one of my personal favourites. ‘Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader – not the fact hat it is raining but the feeling of being rained upon.’ When we read we want to feel immersed in the writing, we want to feel with the characters, and the writer can help that feeling along by giving us the detail we need to be right there in the moment with them. To use Docorow’s example, it’s all too simple to say that it is raining, but does reading that statement really give us a vivid mental picture?

Is it a heavy, constant rain – big, fat drops falling from the sky? Is it a light, misty drizzle that coats your clothes? Is the sky a dark, stormy grey, or a lighter dove colour, are there patches of sunshine shining through? Has the rain been falling for a while, are there puddles that the character has to splash through, or that the raindrops make little ripples on. How does the character feel in the rain – are they wet and miserable, are their shoes squelching and their umbrella blowing away, or do they quite like the rain, is it cleansing, does it suit their mood, does it have that fresh feel where it clears the air?

Of course, as a writer you may not write all that down. In fact, you probably can’t most of the time without churning out a doorstop-sized novel that would be so over-loaded with description that it would bore your readers to tears! πŸ™‚ But considering all those points, by having a mental image of all the details of the scene in your own mind then you canΒ  chose which details are necessary for the reader to ‘see’ it too. (Well, you can try, it’s sometimes a juggling act that improves with practice!)

What do you think, what makes you ‘feel’ when you’re reading or what do you try and do when you’re writing to make the reader see what you see?

Have a good weekend x