Vivid Language Paints a Picture

By Mary

What does it mean to use vivid language in your writing? Language that is vivid paints a picture for your readers, so that they can clearly envision what you are talking about. Vivid language is very important to descriptive writing.

Let’s look at the sentence:

I took a trip to the mountains.

Does this paint a picture for your reader? Assuming that the reader has ever seen a mountain, the reader is able to somewhat visualize what you meant. However, the picture the reader has may be very different from what you actually mean. After all, there are many different types of mountains.

Is this better?

My last trip was to the quaint mountain village of Helen, Georgia located in the foothills of the evergreen Appalachian mountain range.

Does this paint a more clear picture for the reader?

How about this?

I visited the snow-capped peaks of the Canadian Rocky mountains, where I stayed at a skiing resort.

Does this paint a clear picture? Is it different from the image evoked from the first example?

There are many different types of mountains. Just saying that you took a trip to the mountains is not sufficient to paint a clear picture of your experience to the reader. Vivid language consists of the descriptive adjectives that bring your experience to life for the reader.

Look at what you have written and see if the words are sufficient to put your reader in the moment with you, as if he or she could see what you saw during your experience.

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6 Responses to “Vivid Language Paints a Picture”

  • Razeen

    Mary, what is the different between the second sentence and the third sentence?

  • Daniel

    Razeen, I think both the second and the third sentences are examples using vivid language, but they are describing different mountains.

  • Alexandra

    I forget sometimes that we have so much power in our words.

  • Roshawn

    Excellent tip. Using vivid language certainly makes the written word come to life.

    (Oh, and I think you meant to say “paints” instead of “pains” in the second sentence of the first paragraph.)

  • Daniel

    Thanks Roshawn, fixed that.

  • Bryan C

    I have read a lot about not using adjectives, or cutting them out. I am slightly confused. How are adjectives used appropriately?

    Thank you,

    Bryan

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