You know how hard it is to come up with the right word sometimes, either in conversation or in writing? When I read great writers’ work, I am amazed at how well they are able to describe the scenes in their stories. They make it easy to imagine whatever they are writing about. Settings are as crisp as the sharp crack of breaking glass, and the psychology of the characters burrows into the readers’ consciousness like an earthworm tunneling through soil. The best writers give you just enough description to trigger the images in your mind, without overburdening you with details.
As someone who writes a lot, I read often and try to emulate my favorite writers – Murakami, Asensi, and Hemmingway, for example (if you’re going to do something, you ought to try to do it well, don’t you think?). I figure that if I aim for the stars, I might at least hit the moon.
One of the challenges of writing is trying to keep the writing fresh. You want to come up with new ways of saying the same thing. Think about it – how many ways has the ‘boy-chases-girl-girl-rejects-boy-boy-doesn’t-quit-until-he-wins-her-heart’ story been told? Thousands? Yes, but each time in a slightly different way.
If you use the same descriptors all the time, you start to be boring and you don’t grow your creativity muscles they way you could. My goal is to write about coffee without saying the same thing every time. In other words, keep it fresh, like good coffee (no apologies for bad puns, though. I like to hear the audience groan once in a while). Here is today’s snippet:
Courier Coffee was my destination this morning. They had several coffees available as pourovers, and one single-origin espresso. When I asked about being overpowered by the single-origin’s acidity, the barista assured me that even though it was a washed Ethiopian coffee, it was well-balanced and not overwhelmingly bright (no lemons). He didn’t have to work hard to persuade me to order the espresso.
The first sip entered my mouth and swelled like the ocean before a storm. The tangy flavors began in the center of my mouth but grew until they filled the entire space. In some cases, the syrupy nature of an espresso comes through in the crema, but in this case, the coffee itself was heavy. The espresso’s texture stood out the most. The coffee bathed my entire tongue with a thick, viscous syrup. If it were a piece of clothing, it would have been flannel or denim, not silk or polyester.
The texture and the taste lingered – they coated my mouth as if I had just eaten the richest piece of chocolate cake from the finest bakery, with nothing to wash it down. I thought I could call it cakey, but according to the Urban Dictionary, that’s might not be the best word to use. I guess I’ll just have to keep searching for the right word…