Imagery is one of the intangibles in writing, the way words are strung together to evoke mental images. Some readers are drawn to plot lines and story arcs, but as a reader I’m drawn to writing that wrenches my emotions, in a positive or negative way.
The right group of words, strung together in a way that pulls at my memory and imagination, is enough to draw me further into a novel or a story than even the tightest plot. I like feeling the characters and the story and the setting, and imagery is crucial to realizing that connection to a piece of writing.
Ash at Shades of Blue and Green massages words into place in a way that brings emotions to the forefront of an experience. When Cam proposed a flash memoir prompted by the word “Crash”, Ash countered with flash fiction that sensuously weaves together song lyrics and relatively disjointed prose. The piece appears in its entirety here; the bold italics are my notes.
Drinks, dessert, doorway dance. Experiences of long ago.
This anticipatory line implies tonight will contain an event that contrasts with previous experiences.
Doors opened, doors held, doors no longer slammed shut.
The contrast between closed and open doors relays a feeling of anything being possible.
Teenage wanting wound tight in a stretched and scarred body.
The heat rises here, making me wonder about “stretched and scarred”. Emotionally? Physically?
Music, from inside her head, maybe the other room.
… “who’s got their claws in you my friend…into your heart I’ll beat again…”
Tell tale. Who knew it still could?
… “touch your lips just so I know, in your eyes, love, it glows so…I’m bare boned and crazy for you…”
Fingers on buttons, in hair, between lips.
The physicality here is urgent and teasing; the image is outlined with Ash’s words, filled in with my imagination.
A giggle, because she knows what’s to come.
Please let the lighting be kind.
A lightness here, the pause before the moment is taken too far, the antipation is increased with the lyrics.
… “I’m begging you to forgive me in my haste…”‘
Boots shed. Hands slide.
… “hike up your skirt a little more and show your world to me, in a boy’s dream…”
The short sentences punctuate this into almost a dreamlike state, urgent and inevitable.
She knows she will survive this.
There is strength here, and awareness, and I can’t help but project myself into the emotions of the character.
This is the type of writing I read and then let out a breath, without realizing I’ve been holding it. Part of my draw to this was the use of the Dave Matthews Band lyrics, especially combined with the idea of “teenage wanting.”
The language throughout the piece is relatively abstract, the scene painted with brief details, allowing readers to fill in the gaps with their own imaginations.
I enjoyed the way Ash used the senses of hearing and touch. Many times as writers we tend to focus on the visual aspects of imagery, but this shows the way that other senses can really call forth a scene, bringing the writer physically into the piece. Without any sort of explicit sexuality, Ash is able to really bring a sense of sensuality and heat into this brief piece.
Thank you so much to Ash for letting us spotlight her fiction here today, and visit her over at her blog for more examples of her lovely work.