“In six seconds you’ll hate me.
But in six months you’ll be a better writer.
From this point forward - at least for the next half year - you may not use “thought” verbs. These include: Thinks, Knows, Understands, Realizes, Believes, Wants, Remembers, Imagines, Desires, and a hundred others you love to use.
The list should also include: Loves and Hates.
And it should include: Is and Has, but we’ll get to those later.
Until sometime around Christmas, you can’t write: “Kenny wondered if Monica didn’t like him going out at night”
Instead, you’ll have to un-pack that to something like: “The mornings after Kenny had stayed out, beyond the last bus, until he’d had to bum a ride or pay for a cab and got home to find Monica faking sleep, faking because she never slept that quiet, those mornings, she’d only put her own cup of coffee in the microwave. Never his.”
Instead of your characters knowing anything, you must now present the details that allow the reader to know them. Instead of a character wanting something, you must now describe the thing so that the reader wants it.
Instead of saying: “Adam knew Gwen liked him.” You’ll have to say: “Between classes, Gwen had always leaned on his locker when he’d go to open it. She’d roll her eyes and shove off with one foot, leaving a black-heel mark on the painted metal, but she also left the smell of her perfume. The combination lock would still be warm from her butt. And the next break, Gwen would be leaning there, again.”
In short, no more short-cuts. Only specific sensory detail: action, smell, taste, sound, and feeling.”
URBAN STREET ART: Super-Sized Characters invade the Streets of São Paulo!
São Paulo, Brazil’s largest and most dynamic city, has long been famous for its innovative modern art and its gridlocked roads (among other things). Now street artist TEC, an Argentinian transplant, has been busily decorating the city’s asphalt roadways with lively figures. TEC emblazons the streets at night, equipped with a paint roller, creating enormous creatures that appear to be moving through the urban jungle of this mega-city. Sometimes compared to the Nazca Linesof Peru, these super-sized figures also are best appreciated from above. TEC’s style of urban street art evolved out of his interest in logos and comic-book characters: as he was more interested in colorful characters than in calligraphy and letter based graffiti, he developed his own grand style on the streetscapes. I love how it humanizes the sprawling roadways of this mega-city, don’t you? You can check out more of his workhere.
Photos: posted from Flickr by Shawn Saleme on Visual News. Thanks to Michael Kiel for this reference!