How to Create a Visual Experience in Your Writing

Filed in Writing Tips by on June 11, 2020 0 Comments

It's easy to stick to what you know when writing. If your manuscript is starting to feel bland, here are some tips to spark a visual experience to your r...

When writing, it’s so easy to get bogged down with dialogue, plot lines, verb tense, and comma placement. We can get so caught up with that we can forget to push our creative boundaries. Becoming fixated on punctuation can cause our descriptions to go flat. Other times, we may avoid using symbolism in writing because it feels too advanced for the current writing level. It’s easy to stick to what you know.

If your manuscript is starting to feel like dialogue mixed in with a bunch of bland back story, give symbolism, description, and color a try. Here are our tips for each:


literary device that allows writers to create double meanings for people, places, and objects. Essentially, symbolism is when a person, abstract idea, image, location, or object represents something beyond their literal meaning. For instance, have you wanted to purchase flowers for someone but wondered about the “message” those flowers would send to the other person? So, you looked up the meaning of some flowers? You may have discovered that red roses mean romance and yellow roses signify friendship.

The meanings behind flowers actually lend themselves to symbolism in writing. If your protagonist’s love interest sends her yellow roses, she’ll realize she’s been placed in the friendzone and may get upset. If, on the other hand, that same love interest were to send your protagonist red roses, she would know her crush liked her back.


What builds the story around your dialogue and helps move your story forward. If your descriptions are bland, lack specificity, and don’t advance your story—well, they aren’t very good descriptions. To write great descriptions, you need to think granular. Instead of saying, “Josh accidentally spilled his slushy on Susie’s lap.” You can beef up the description to: “Josh bent across the bus aisle to catch a glimpse at Susie’s phone screen. Instead of being discreet, his dark purple slushy dumped into Susie’s lap, instantly creating a bad tie-dye effect on her white jeans.” While the second option uses more words, it’s important to note that it’s not too wordy, and it does a significantly better job of painting a mental picture for readers.


A fantastic writing tool to boost your writing. Color can also create symbolism, which allows it to pack a one-two-punch. The color red can symbolize danger or passion. Blue represents peace and calm. White represents innocence, cleanliness, and life. And purple is used to denote royalty. Color symbolism can be easily found on the internet.

Adding more color is also the absolute best way to boost your description of a location. For example, if your book is set in Miami, you have to include all the colors of the city: the clear, turquoise blue of the water, the pastels of the art deco buildings, and the vibrant reds throughout Little Havana. If you leave these colorful descriptions out of a book set in Miami, it will actually come across to readers who have been to Miami that you didn’t do your research and have maybe never been there yourself. That’s definitely a situation you don’t want to put yourself in.

When it comes to adding more color to your book, simply get more granular with the item or location you are writing about. Where you could say, “Hannah ate an orange.” You could instead use: “Hannah bit into a bright orange tangerine, and she felt the sticky, sweet juice run down her chin.” Including color in your writing is that simple.

Writing Practice

If you’re wondering how to start incorporating these three elements into your own storytelling try our writing prompt as practice! Take the passage below and rewrite it to include symbolism, description, and color. Remember: It’s okay for your version to be significantly longer than the passage below.

Damien pulled his car up in front of Jessica’s house. He wanted to drop some flowers at her doorstep because she had missed school and he was worried about her.

We’d love to see your rewrites! Feel free to share your new version in the comment section. For more writing prompts click here.

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About the Author ()

Erika Bennett is the Content Manager for Xulon Press. She has worked in the publishing industry for more than a decade and her passion is to make sure great books find their way into readers' hands. You can also find her writing on

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