- Introduce an unexpected mental image. Stick with the one you chose. Bring it back from time to time.
- Create a sense of time and place around the person. Never forget that it is the person – not the time or the place or why you were there – that is the focus of your writing.
- Choose words that are composed of sounds – phonemes – that reinforce the feeling you are trying to make us feel. Soft sounds are the sounds that are made by letters like s, f, v, th, sh, h, l, m, n. Listen for the sounds of ‘f’ and ‘s’ in this passage. “His footsteps fell like snowflakes on the soft Caribbean sand.” Hard sounds are the letters that pop and stop. Think of the sounds represented by the letters p, b, d, k, t, g. Hard sounds reinforce hardness. Soft sounds reinforce softness. Choose your words, not only by their definitions and associations, but by their sounds.
- Edit your sentences. Make the rhythm of the words pleasant to the ear. This is equally as important when the words are read silently as when they are spoken. The written word cannot be understood until it is translated into the spoken word in the mind of the reader. Write for the ear.
- Your story cannot exceed 540 words, plus the title and your signature. Send your story to firstname.lastname@example.org before midnight Saturday, April 30, 2022. Be sure to include your physical (postal) address in case I want to send you a prize.
– Indy Beagle