Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

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Piquant – Add Spice to Your Writing…

April 13, 2013

Piquant – definition: 1) agreeably stimulating to the taste; spicy. 2) pleasingly exciting


We all want our stories to engage our readers. To have them sympathize with a character or actively dislike, means we have accomplished our goal. Crafting a well rounded character does take time but pays dividends. Whether a stand alone novel or a series, characters need to be ‘believable’ and their emotions concisely and clearly revealed. There must be a balance between action and scene setting, too much of one or the other will ‘fatigue’ our readers – there must be ebb and flow.

I found this delightful post, which uses cooking terminology to express these points.

What resources do you use to add ‘flavor’?

Our own life experiences are a great source of ’emotion’ and as writers we tend to use them and those of the people around us. Noticing how an emotion affects the physical demeanor allows us to show not tell what a character is feeling. I was fortunate enough to win a copy of the Emotional Thesaurus a while ago. It is an excellent resource and sections each ’emotion’ into physical signals, internal sensations, mental responses and cues for each one. With an additional writers tip as a footnote.


Do you have tips you can share?

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