Breathtaking prose is not elaborative, overly descriptive, or dense. Dense prose is difficult on the reader, and makes the writer seem like a beginner or an amateur. Writing breathtaking prose means writing with a certain flair that makes the reader gaze into the book like a child would gaze at Santa Claus – a bit openmouthed, with the hint of a smile. Writing beautiful prose is not difficult – but it does require patience, at least at the beginning. After you’ve focused on producing glittering prose for some time, the jeweled paragraphs and lyrical sentences will come to you by themselves. Below, you will find some tips to help you take your prose to the next level.
1. Be precise
Do not waste words and tire the reader with long sentences. Adverbs and adjectives are seducing young writers, who in turn use them to describe everything. He jumped swiftly, she smiled tenderly, and her cardigan was soft as cashmere and red. Of course, it is not wrong to use adverbs and adjective to describe a person, or an action, but you should not use them all of the time. If you sprinkle them throughout your novel, then the moment, the scene, the chapter where you’ve used them gets a bigger impact; it stands out and draws the attention.
2. Sentence length
If all of the sentences in your story are similar in length, then your prose has reached a certain level called monotony. The length of your sentences should vary, short, long, medium. Short sentences quicken the pace, medium temper it, and long slow it down. Create sentences with different lengths according to your characters’ moods, emotions and momentum. Write longer sentences when characters reflect and write shorter sentences when your characters are in danger, or taking action. Play with sentence length and see the effect it has on the scenes in your novel.
3. Avoid cliché metaphors
It is easy to fall into the trap of cliché metaphors when you’re trying to be precise in your descriptions, and want to add flair to your prose. Metaphors are a good way of adding flair – but original ones instead of clichéd ones. For example, it is a cliché for eyes to be blue as water. Not only has this metaphor been overused, it is also incorrect, for water is seldom blue. Try to be true to your descriptions, to be correct in the comparisons and original metaphors will blossom.
4. Punctuation and sound
Choose a piece of your writing. Read it out loud. Then, play a little with the punctuation in your longer sentences. Read it out loud. Both times, analyze the way your sentences sound. Most people, when they read, they hear a voice in their head. It is important that your sentences sound beautiful. Punctuation helps with that – often, you’re not aware you need a comma after a certain word, but reading out loud will help you discover that. Moreover, make a list of your favorite words, words that are wondrous, phenomenal, and have a musical sound to them like wind chimes. Make a list of them and see where you can add or use in your prose.
5. End with a power word
Whenever possible, choose to end a paragraph, a sentence, a scene, a novel with a power word. To find the power word, analyze a sentence, or a whole paragraph, and try to discover the most important word, or phrase, for your character. Then try to rewrite that sentence, or paragraph and place the word, or the phrase with the utmost importance and the biggest impact at the end. Try to do this as often as possible and it will become second nature. Think of the power word as the punch line in a joke – it has to be delivered at the end, and at the right moment. The power word has to leave an impact on both the reader and the characters in your novel.
Image credit: Pixabay [author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/photo.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Georgina Roy wants to live in a world filled with magic. As an art student, she’s moonlighting as a writer and is content to fill notebooks and sketchbooks with magical creatures and amazing new worlds. When she is not at school, or scribbling away in a notebook, you can usually find her curled up, reading a good urban fantasy novel, or writing on her laptop, trying to create her own.