Writing in HD

I’ve been rewatching Game of Thrones and it came to me recently that one thing I love about the show is its production value. Forget the story, the characters, the scenery, or the costumes…the cinematography and sound production of that show is incredible!

d2a41a40d91b9e672d07748f9d102356The word that comes to my mind when watching—sensual. It pleases all the senses. Even in scenes…strike that…especially in scenes where only two people are talking, the atmosphere of the surroundings touches all the senses. I’m thinking of a scene in which two characters are taking a bath and talking about dragons. The dialogue is good, but what got my attention was the sound of the water as the woman ran her hands through it or gently splashed it up on his chest. Or the light of a dozen flickering candles surrounding the bathtub, each one giving off the right amount of light. Sensual.

The scenes don’t have to be in a bath to be that sensual. Another scene in which two power players sit at a table and discuss strategy has the same effect. The table is laden with food and silver dishes (these are rich men), the sound as the wine is poured into their goblets is enough to make me yearn for a glass of wine. A fire crackles in the background. Candles light the table and reflect on the silver. The leather of their clothing creaks a little when they move. Even their voices are enhanced to sound sonorous and pleasing. Not only that, but the silences are often long and drawn out for dramatic effect and that only adds to the richness of the background. When there is silence, the viewer can soak in all the sights, sounds, and feelings of the scene.

As I watched one of these quiet episodes, I thought… ‘I wish I could write like that!’

I want to be able to write in HD!

Many writers can do it. It’s a wonderful gift. One of my favorite historical fiction authors can write in such a sensual way that I feel I’m in a 12th century castle or fighting in a battle. I can feel the tight bodice of a noblewoman’s dress, feel the warmth of a hearthfire after a long day in the saddle, feel the headiness of a goblet of wine. It’s phenomenal!

I’m not there yet, but ever since my Game of Thrones experience, I think I have a better understanding of what to do. We’ll see.

Do you have a favorite writer who can bring all the senses to life?

1 thought on “Writing in HD”

  1. Proust can do that sort of thing. Here’s a sentence from Swann’s Way: ” I could see across the wheat fields the two chiseled, rustic spires of Saint-Andre-des-Champs, themselves as tapering, scaly, plated, honeycombed, checkered, yellowed, and granular as two spikes of wheat.”

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