Whether you're a writer or reader, you're probably familiar with the feeling that the best writing makes you feel you're on the same stage as your favorite characters.
It is usually not effortless for authors to achieve this, but it can look that way; to grasp readers and make them feel like a part of the story, you will need to be precise in your word choices and master imagery.
Readers who aren't able to forget a sensory experience are rewarded with great imagery.The following post includes more on its definition and 5 types, as well as examples from literature.
Definition of Imagery
Images are literary devices in which figurative language is used to describe objects, actions, and ideas in a way that appeals to the senses and draws readers into a scene as if it were real.
A term such as imagery can be misleading.While figurative language can describe something's visual appearance, imagery can also refer to vivid descriptions of sounds, tastes, sensations, and smells.
What Are the 5 Types of Imagery?
In imagery, there are five different types: visual, olfactory (smell), gustatory (taste), tactile (touch), and auditory (sound).
An image is a visual representation of something.Write a scene by showing rather than telling what a person, place, or thing is.
Use vivid imagery and sensory details to make your reader experience the scene.
She admired the moonlight reflecting in her big, dark eyes as it glistened over the lake.
It is olfactory imagery that appeals to our sense of smell.It is important to recognize the power of a good aromatic description-science has confirmed that smell is one of our most powerful links with the past.
Make sure to use descriptive words that will make your readers' mouths water if you're writing about food, for example.
A sweet aroma wafted from the kitchen to the living room, causing Greg's stomach to rumble.
A gustatory image describes taste.As a result, it is used in conjunction with olfactory imagery (what is taste without smell, anyway?) and should appeal to readers.
As he bit into the juicy burger, a variety of spices danced across his tongue.
We associate tactile imagery with our sense of touch.Whether it's the feel of cashmere or the bite of a December night, good tactile imagery helps readers feel like they're a part of the scene, and helps the characters' experiences ring true.
It was a gust of cold wind that pierced her body.
Auditory imagery describes sounds, from shrill cries to gentle breezes.Setting the scene with even the smallest of sounds puts the reader right in the middle of the action.
During her waking up, she heard birds chirping and a gentle breeze whirling through the leaves outside her window.
What Are Some Examples of Imagery?
Here are a few examples of iconic imagery from famous works of literature.
Forrest Gump by Winston Groom
It rained one day and didn't stop for two months.There were different kinds of rain, and even sleet and hail.There were times when it rained a little, and other times when it rained a lot.Sometimes it seemed to come straight down as well as sideways.
The author describes the sting of rain in this excerpt from the novel turned into a movie by Winston Groom.
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
If you walk through the midway after the glaring lights are off and the people have gone to bed, you'll find a veritable treasure of popcorn fragments, frozen custard dribbles, candied apples abandoned by children, sugar fluff crystals, salted almonds, popsicles, partly gnawed ice cream cones, and wooden lollipops sticks.
In an excerpt from Charlotte's Web, the narrator gives a vivid picture of the setting, appealing to the senses from "salted almonds" to "glaring lights."
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
We woke up to a rimy, damp morning.I had seen the damp on the outside of my little window.. But now, I saw the clammy damp spreading across the sparse hedges and grass .. On every rail and gate, there was wet; and the marsh-mist was so thick and thick that I couldn't see the wooden finger marking the way to our village, a direction they never accepted, for they never came there.
Seeing and feeling Great Expectations' description of a damp morning near a marsh will make readers feel as if they're there themselves.
How to Use Imagery
Use the right adjectives, figurative language, and even your tone of voice to create more imagery in your writing.
It's not necessary to use figurative language and literary devices like metaphors or similes to create imagery.Usually amateur writers overwrite and include adjective after adjective; try to express as much as you can with fewer words.
The goal of imagery is to make readers think they are seeing the scene for themselves, not just reading about it. To do this, you should appeal to all senses, not just sight.
What are some of your favorite examples of imagery in literature?