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Do you want to write beautiful prose and poetry that comes alive with brilliant imagery? Have you tried to add color and life, but you struggle with getting the imagery just right? This is a stumbling block for many authors. Some professionals say that writing with wonderful imagery is a gift, and that it cannot be learned. The fact is that nearly anything can be learned by nearly anyone.

First, get an idea in mind, and then visualize your subject. If it is a poem or story about a flower, see the flower. If the poem or story is about a falling star, watch the light show in the sky. Watch the blossoms open up, breathing the air. See the bright twinkle of the descending star; feel the texture of the rose.

Give life to the fragrant flower and the shimmering star. The blossom can cry, shedding the petals. The star can voice its fear of falling. To do this, you must close your eyes. Yes, that's right. Close them.

You are probably asking yourself, "How can I close my eyes and read this article?" Since you need your eyes in order to read this column, I suggest that you try this technique AFTER you have finished reading my tips for adding imagery to your writing.

Anyway, after your eyes are closed, simply watch the story unfold. Watch the tender rose blossom. Does it have dew sprinkled over it? What color are the petals? Are the color, size, and shape symbolic in any way to the theme of your poem or story? Where is the light shining? Is the sun or moon present? Let's look around. Is there a butterfly nearby? Is the flower in a garden? Are there any people here?

These questions will set the mood for either a story or a poem. Leave reality for a moment. That garden or dark moonlit sky is your reality. Close your eyes, and become part of this reality. Embrace this world that you create. Sniff the air. Touch the flowers.

Now, write down what you feel, see and smell. Write down what you envision. Let the scene play out in your head like a movie or television show. Watch the story unfold before your eyes. Watch and write.

Yes, you have to open your eyes in order to write. Now you are probably shaking your head, and looking doubtfully at the monitor before you saying, "That's it! I suspected it, but now I am sure. Whoever wrote this article is downright nuts! This person wants us to daydream and leave reality for a frolic in the flowers?"

Yes, that is exactly what I am telling you to do. Poets and storytellers are dreamers. Talented writers are visual, and they can evoke feelings in their readers because of these creative and eccentric tricks that they implement.

Daydreaming has been made into an unforgivable waste of time by our bustling society. Here's a hint: Daydreaming is ok. Daydreaming is necessary to make your creative writing take on a life all of its own.

When you are absorbed in your writing, close your eyes or even stare blankly into space and allow yourself to FEEL the story. Yes, your family will think you are nuts, but they will get over it. If you want great imagery in your writing, you must visualize. You will learn to use these rather eccentric tricks, and appreciate the results.

When your visual, right-brained side takes over, you will become a slave to your writing for a few minutes or a few hours. Some famous and not so famous writers are known to write like demons for days, spewing forth all of the mire that weights their brain down. (Sorry about that. Your rather creative guide slipped into poetry there for a minute.) One of the best techniques or tricks to help keep the imagery alive is brainstorming. When you just write in this free style, you allow your mind to breathe.

Brainstorming is a great technique to try. What is brainstorming? That is when you write everything down, every single idea that comes into my head. Be sure not to stop until you are out of ideas or things to say. Do not stop to check spelling or punctuation. Just write! Afterward, you will find that you will either have the beginning of a story or two, a poem idea, or material for a few different articles.

You can even use brainstorming when you are visualizing or trying to imagine that fictional world that you created. I keep this list of ideas or feelings for the times that I am rather uninspired, or I use the list to complete the imagery in the poem or story that I am working on at that time. This is also a great way to beat writer's block. Maybe that is why I hardly ever experience writer's block.

To help you sum up; here is a list of the main ideas. Below are the tips and tricks we covered here:

1. After you come up with an idea for a story or poem, remember to close your eyes and watch what happens.

2. You must see, smell, and feel the story.

3. Give life to the inanimate objects, animals, and nature. Make them weep, talk, or even scream.

4. Remember that it is always preferable and acceptable to daydream.

5. When you get an idea or feeling, write it down! I don't care if you're in the car, in line at the grocery store, or at a little league game.