I draw the rhythm of my day from this ritual of raising my energy, practicing plot, and daily writing.
Today I write.
Sense organs relay messages to your brain: the smell of dust on the road, the taste or rust, the heat of the summer sun beating on your skin.
A setting bathed in sights and sounds, language and climate, draws the reader in at the sensory level. Sensory details, fully realized, reinforce the deeper meaning of a story and evoke emotion.
Before each character is a world only she sees and imagines. The trick to creating a memorable character is finding something special in or about her that makes her “her.” What she attends to in the plethora of details surrounding her reflects her feelings, ones that show life differently than it is depicted in other stories. Only she feels about her life the way she does. Only she sees and hears the world around her in the way she does. Such individuality creates a sense of mystery around each character.
Earlier, you created a broad idea of the setting and the protagonist’s relationship to it. Now, vary the situation your main character is in and write about what she is doing in the here ad now of the story. As always, ground your character and the reader by providing sensory details of the story world.
Highlight those features that provide insight about the protagonist. From all the visual, auditory, and tactile stimulation around her, shows what the protagonist notices about how her world tastes and the smells that sets her apart and gives an inkling about who she was before becoming who she is now. Don’t tell the reader how her backstory shapes her beliefs and expectations of life, as well as her life direction; show us out of everything else, the sensory details that most draw the protagonist’s attention.
Daryl huffed and puffed as he ran around the track. His feet grew heavier with every step, pounding the asphalt in a uneven and feeble rhythm. He gained another wind every time someone passed him, but his lungs were having a hard time keeping up.
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Drill Sergeant Brooks running at him. Her face scrunched in an explosive fury that seemed to grow little springs at the tips of his toes, but it was to no avail, he had expended everything and he still had one lap left.
He imagined he’d never sweated this much in his life! His PTs were drenched. He never wanted a shower so badly in his entire life. ‘Oh thank God!’ he thought as he saw the finish line.
He found the left over energy, he forgot he had and sprinted. It was glorious! The line grew closer and closer until he finally crossed at 17 min and 36 seconds…
‘Son of a…’ It didn’t matter. He collapsed into the grass just outside the track.
“Ice sheets!” he heard a drill sergeant call out. He tried to get up to show them he was ok, but he wasn’t fast enough and soon he found himself enveloped in a cold, wet, cottony net, clinging to his skin, giving him the extra motivation to spring up and holler.
In his anxiety, he nearly ran into a column, but Drill Sergeant Daed was able to catch him before any permanent damage.