Paint Pictures

Several of my picturebooks won children’s choice awards selected by blind kids. That helped me enormously to realize that text has to work without art. As writers we have to paint pictures in the reader’s head with words.

Describe an object. Pick a flower, a puppy, a doll, the house across the street, a pine cone, anything. Describe it in detail for yourself on paper. Note its color, shape, size, texture. Now feel it. Describe how it feels. Or listen to any sounds and add them to your description.

Did you write half a page, a full page of description?
Now try to sum this all up by painting a picture of it. What does it compare to? Use a few poetic words instead of the long tedious paragraph.

In my book Emma’s Eggs I did not describe the chick yellow, round, fluffy, soft, etc. But after making this list I compared her and called her “a dandelion chick”. Does such a comparison work for your description?