Take a razor blade to your imagery.
Slice out all the words that you think are clever, all the turns of phrase that make your ego purr.
See what you have left.
Create a world from it.
Description should be rooted in the gut as much as in the head.
Are the hairs on the back of your neck standing on end?
If they aren’t-
The words are still the soft scratch of small feet over broken glass.
We can’t all be T.S. Eliot.
Chances are good that our worlds will end in whimpers and not bangs.
But the greatest inspiration I have ever received is to strive for that moment.
The moment the words create a picture that you have never seen before, but that you cannot imagine not having seen.
The moment our hollow heads are filled not with straw, but the fire of living words.
Housekeeping Note: I’m going to be doing a small cover reveal for With Honor Intact on Tuesday. If you liked the cover for The Guests of Honor, I think that you’ll really like the second cover. I’m very excited about this and if anyone wants to join in on the fun or just wants a high-res image of the second cover, feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope that you enjoyed the week of inspiration!
For my own fire-driven imagery, you can read my fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor. It is available here.