My sister-in-law is in the middle of painting the interior of her house. She is putting color on all-white walls for the first time.
Sounds easy enough, especially since she's a watercolor artist and knows a lot about color.
But I think painting walls must be a little different from painting a picture, because she's encountering color shock.
What does this have to do with writing?
Writers experience word shock.
We all speak and read every day. These activities involve words. Yet putting words of our own on the screen is vastly different from ordering a burger at a fast food drive-thru. Or from reading the latest bestseller.
Writing requires us to think of words in different ways.
So try thinking of your words as paint.
Verbs are the deep colors on the paint chip. Strong and intense.
The color next to the verb is the noun. It works with the verb but isn't quite as intense. It's still precise and leaves no doubt in the reader's mind what the writer means.
Flowing down from these two colors are the adjectives and adverbs. Nice colors, but middle of the road.
The light pastels are all the other words - prepositions, conjunctions, etc. They fade off into nothingness, as they should. Their job is to connect the words that shape the picture we're painting.
Instant accent? Black or white. Those are interjections.
So . . . paint a story!