Newsletter

 

Moving


Moving up, moving down. Moving in, moving out. Moving forward, moving back. Moving pictures. Moving house.

 

An emotionally moving scene or play. Moving easily, moving on.

 

Definition
1. a: marked by or capable of movement
1. b: of or relating to a change of residence — moving expenses
1. c: used for transferring furnishings from one residence to another — a moving van
1. d: involving a motor vehicle that is in motion — a moving violation

 

2. a: producing or transferring motion or action
2. b: stirring deeply in a way that evokes a strong emotional response — a moving story of a faithful dog


There are two main meanings for the word “moving. One is to do with the capacity of something to go from one place to another…a moving body, a fast-moving river, “Move over, dog, you’re taking up the whole bed!”

 

The other has to do with the communication of emotion. We refer to a very moving speech or performance — something that touches us emotionally, makes us feel deeply. We weep at weddings because the emotion of the moment is so moving. Or we are moved to act in a certain way by the rhetoric of a great speaker.

 

Your mission this week, should you choose to accept it, is to write something about a moving object or body, or write an emotionally moving scene or story.

 

Writing Tip of the Week

When you want to indicate the significance of an element in your writing — when a person, object or event is important — add more detail to it. This will make it more memorable to your reader.

 

If you choose to write about physical motion, your words should be descriptive of the type of motion — fast, slow, rapid, repetitive, intermittent, smooth, steady or unsteady. Choose sensory words that convey a clear and accurate picture of what’s moving and how it moves. Try ascribing motivation to the type of movement.

 

When a river is an important part of the reader experience, don’t write a throwaway line, like: “The river ran slowly past the banks”.

 

What if this is not a friendly, happy, serene river? What if this is a somber, misanthropic river lending an uneasy mood and atmosphere to the setting?

 

Write about how it looked, how it sounded, even how it smelled. For example: “The water didn’t flow so much as ooze past the banks, stinking of mud and rotting vegetation, ripples muted, silently determined to reach the sea.” Help your reader experience it, viscerally, sensually.

 

This also has the effect of moving the reader emotionally. The more sensory impressions you include, the more connected your audience will be.

 

Exercise:

Try writing a description of characters moving past a point of interest — a ticket booth, a coffee shop, confectionery shop or bakery, a funeral viewing, something dangerous, something curious. Describe the different ways they walk, run, or crawl. Contrast them with each other or with stillness. How does a different emotion change the way they move?

 

Each of these characters will move differently. Perhaps one or more of them will spark a story idea.

 

  • A young boy
  • A toddler
  • An impatient mother
  • An elderly gentleman with back pain
  • A self-important CEO or politician
  • A dog
  • A cat
  • A mouse
  • A bird
  • An earthworm


Questions:

 

  • Who or what is moving?
  • Does it have a reason for moving? A motivation?
  • How fast does it move?
  • Does it affect or is it affected by nearby objects?
  • How does it change when affected by a different emotion?
  • Which of your senses tell you the person or object is in motion?
  • Describe your sensory indicators: visual, tactile, audible, physical, emotional.
  • What is the emotion you want your reader to feel?
  • Any other emotions besides the main one?
  • How can you describe the scene’s elements to enhance that emotion?
    • Pacing
    • Sentence length and word choices
    • Metaphors and similes
    • Contrast to other elements