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How to Add Colour to your Fictional Writing
Home Reference & Education Writing & Speaking
By: Sam Pearce Email Article
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Creating a piece of captivating fiction doesn't always come easily. If you really want to draw your reader in and make them believe every scene in your story as if they are actually part of it, you will need to consider some effective writing techniques. For example, what has just been written: using a short sentence and a much longer sentence. The only difference is that in fictional writing, a long one might be used to build up suspense and a short one used directly after to deliver a punchline!

The above example is just one way to add some excitement to the story. But, how could you build up a realistic scene for your reader so that they can visualise it at its fullest? In cases where you really want to add effect, you could use the following, many of which can be described as figurative language:

Metaphors and similies

Metaphors are powerful comparisons between two unlike things (but not using the word "like" or "as" to make the comparison). Examples are "My heart swelled with a sea of tears" and "My words are chains of lead". They can add volume and a dramatic edge to a sentence.
Similies are also comparisons between two things that are generally not alike, but this time usually introduced by like or as. "She is as pretty as a picture" and "the clouds were like cotton wool" are very simple examples.

Short and long sentences

This has already been mentioned briefly. Add a climax to a scene by taking the reader on a long journey that builds up to a surprising consequence, such as "The wind was howling so loudly around the trees now and the freezing fog was like a smokescreen in front of her, blinding her vision. Then it struck from above".


This was probably an old school favourite in English lessons, but it is such an effective tool in creative writing. Repeating the same sound in a sentence provides some fun and interest, such as "The beautiful bouquet blossomed in the bright sun". These types of sentences can really stick in a reader's mind.


Giving human characteristics, qualities, or traits to an object or idea can help the reader identify with what the writer is trying to convey. "The letters stood tall and proud on the page" is one such sentence which can give the feeling that the letters were bold and unmissable.


Often difficult to describe, an onomatopoeic word's pronunciation imitates its sound. It can add to the auditory senses whilst reading which adds to the already vibrant visual images (created by the effective methods above). One example is "The horse's hooves clip-clopped on the cobblestones".

There is nothing to be afraid of when it comes to using creative tools in your writing. However, don't feel you have to use them in every sentence as this could overcrowd your reader and take them away from the storyline momentarily. Use your writing effects at certain points where you want to build up drama or introduce a new scene. Your reader will want to be part of your story too.

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