I don’t know about you, but Christmas brings out the sap in me, big-time. So much of what we do around the holidays tugs at my heartstrings and keeps me misty-eyed. That carries over to my memory-keeping as well, and I find myself working hard to make sure I capture how I feel about the holidays. Here are some tips to help.
Create a dominant impression. Every word that you select in your writing carries weight and serves a purpose. Think of the mood that you want to create as you write, and then select words that support that mood. For example, if you want to convey how cozy your home looks when it is decorated for Christmas, then you might write about the warm glow of flickering candles, the sparkling lights reflecting off the family photos lining the walls, the warm cushions and pillows that line the couch, and the inviting fragrance of the real tree cut from a local tree farm. Include only those details that help to emphasize the mood you are creating.
Use vivid language. Instead of using vague descriptions, craft your sentences with sensory details and specific language. A vague description of Christmas morning might say, “The children were so excited about their Christmas gifts.” A vivid description, on the other hand, would read, “The girls squealed with delight as they scrambled into the living room, their hair tousled from sleep.” The second image conveys excitement, as well as a number of visual images that you can clearly imagine.
Pay attention to grammar. Cut any unnecessary adjectives. Instead of relying on adverbs, use stronger verbs. Don’t rely on cliched figures of speech. All of those things can help you craft a focused reflection of your holiday feelings. Varying your sentence structure is another way to make a difference at the sentence-level. By avoiding a subject-verb construction over and over, you can add more variety and interest to your writing.
This post is by Aud Neal, who shares her sappy side at Be Audacious.