Perhaps Anton Chekhov said it best. “Don’t tell me the moon is shining. Show me the glint of light on broken glass.” When I say ‘write with pictures’ I don’t mean literal pictures, of course, but this. This amazingly, poignant directive. Imagery is key, folks. People need to be able to visualize a scene, a character, and/or a conversation. They need to feel as if they are right there, experiencing the magic alongside your characters. Imagery.
Of course we all know the five senses: hear, sight, smell, taste, and touch. They are key when describing the details of your book. When describing each sense, however, be creative. Instead of saying look, perhaps you could use examined, spotted or focused, depending on the context of your story. Instead of saying, “She touched the red scarf,” you could replace it with, “She caressed the red scarf.” Basically, you are adding depth which may not sound like much on the front-end, but your book can become redundant very quickly if you continually use the basics of I heard, I saw, I smelled, I ate, and I touched.
Below is a small list to hopefully help you. These are simply suggestions subjective to your individual text. There are thousands upon thousands of suggestions on the web, easily accessible with a simple click. A thesaurus is a must have, too! Happy writing!!
Ways to say said: commented, remarked, declared, explained, boasted, announced, pronounced, quipped, spat, stuttered, answered
Look/ed: Gazed, examined, glanced, viewed, observed, peeked, stared, watched, inspected, spied, studied, noticed
Ran/Walk: bolted, sped, hurried, sprinted, jogged, rushed, galloped, hustled, skipped, raced, dashed, fled
Went: advanced, approached, cruised, departed, escaped, exited, fled, hit the road, journeyed, left, progressed, took off, set off, withdrew.