Friday, August 6, 2010

PROSE POLYGONS

Shapes are everywhere, flashing circle alarms in your car, triangle signs on road construction, and you wouldn't ski down a diamond slope if you were a beginner.

Shapes have meaning in real life, so too, do they give meaning to your writing. Shapes add a subliminal layer to your story.

Here is a list you might consider either purposely or unconsciously when you are developing a story. Check your WIP for shape descriptions.

ROUND - Imaginative readers perceive round or curling shapes as romantic, passive, soft, organic, indirect, flexible, childish, and in harmony with nature. The circle represents the eternal and the godlike. It has no beginning and it has no end. Think of the sun or the moon, a child's ball, or an orange.

SQUARE - The square represents stability and trustworthiness. It is thought of as direct, industrial, orderly, strict, grown up and linear. The obvious symbol that comes to mind is a house, strong and stable.

TRIANGLE - For obvious reasons this shape designates aggressiveness. Arrows and spears are perfect examples of the triangle's power. Pointed up, they're associated with masculinity, pointed down, femininity.

A well-placed key shape in your manuscript can subconsciously influence how your reader experiences the scene.

Can you think of some examples of shapes in your favorite books?

3 comments:

  1. I love your prose polygons, Gayle! Never thought about shapes before when I'm writing, but I will now. Thanks for the insight.

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  2. Glad I could inspire new thoughts for your writing. :)

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