Last week, I discussed helpful websites in author gifts. Today I would like to discuss three traditional Christmas gifts presented by the magi and their application for writing.
Gold- Gold is beautiful, instantly attracting attention but it is also very valuable.
Author Translation: A story must have a hook, to catch the attention of the reader. It also must have plenty of substance, though, not just flash that fails to deliver.
Frankincense- Frankincense is incredibly fragrant, used both in incense and perfume as well as in religious ceremonies.
Author Translation: Include the senses, all of them, in your writing to really engage your reader. Make your writing fragrant- able to be seen, heard, smelled, tasted, and felt. Remember that your characters not only do action but also have thoughts. Also, they may perceive things or shades of things, that they may not fully comprehend at the time. Sometimes it takes awhile to figure things out; this is true for people and should be for characters as well.
Myrrh- Myrrh was used in embalming.
Author Translation: Your writing must have staying power. The gold hooks a writer, but the myrrh of the story keeps the reader interested. Interesting, true-to-life dialogue that reveals plot points and moves the story forward is one way to accomplish this- no matter what the genre. Many stories will also include some sort of mystery, intrigue or suspense- on a psychological level or in terms of action.
My best to you all,