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Great Writing…it’s all about being specific



Ideas for blog posts come at the weirdest times…well at least they do for me.

Take today as an example. I’m in the middle of the kitchen makeover project and cleaning the cabinets before they get sanded. The DIY store reminded a product that easily takes away oil and dirt.  A great product but it made the kitchen smell like fish.

And yes, this story does have a writing connection. Years ago, as a beginning writing, I would have described it just as I did by telling you it smelled like fish.

However, as I was using the cleaner my first thought was it’s making the kitchen smell like a sardine packing plant. While I don’t know what one exactly smells like, it does evoke a different image and thought to a reader.

One of the goals of writing, whether it be fiction or non-fiction is to get what’s in your head written so vividly and clearly that it’s like the reader can actually see inside your mind and catch a glimpse of what you’re thinking.

Smells like fish is general. It could be someone fried some fish for dinner and there was an odor. But sardine packing plant conveys the intensity of the smell and how much more obnoxious it was than the smell you get when you cook fish.

So my writing tip is any time you can get more specific with your detail, the stronger your writing will be, and the more your reader will get a sense of what you’re trying to convey them in your story.


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