Everyone here knows how I feel about giving writing advice…however, I do like to share some tricks I use to make my writing more tangible, aromatic, sightly, and (hopefully) believable.
The particular trick I am talking about today I think is an old one, but I also think it makes certain writers feel uncomfortable…
I occasionally find that it is extremely helpful to richly describe scenery, or food, or even a person when I have a visual. And my number one go-to for visual aides, you ask: travel and food magazines. They provide numerous options for a writer to build a world off of. Think of the transparent teal waters of an island washing on shore as your character eats a lemon-grilled octopus platter served from the food hut north of the beach, or the almost inaudible crunch of a freshly bloomed jade leaf as a marshmellowy black, white, and yellow caterpillar takes its fill, or the burnt amber glow of the morning sun on the tops of a little girl’s cheeks as she sips a glass of milk in the front yard of her farm. You’ve got the story in your head, but maybe you need to picture the right color of the dried grass, or how the herbs lay across the octopus tentacles. Magazine pictures can help.
It’s true that most of my descriptions come from my brain, including the ones up above. And for the most part, I get the feeling writers can be strict about that. Buttttt, I find it helpful in some cases to rip out pictures of places and foods and people who I feel like fit the world I’m trying to build. It can help me with consistency, such as what type of animals are available in each area, so as not to depict a meal or object related to an animal that would be out of place. It can also help with creating characters that mimic real appearance, as opposed to what I personally find appealing. There are a great many types of beautiful people in this world, and some times the best way to be reminded of that is by checking them out.
So my advice is this: if you are trying to build a world with rules and territories, and you want these places to be as believable as possible, check out a couple of worldly magazines from time to time. It will be greatly beneficial.