Muted Autumn

Let me just say from the get-go that I am NOT complaining about the weather we have been experiencing this fall in NorthEast Ohio. It has been just right – warm during the day and cool at night – just my kind of weather. But one thing that is missing for me in my celebration of Autumn are the leaves changing colors. This year, for some reason, the leaves are colorless. They are falling before the beautiful reds, golds and oranges show on the trees.

As I was driving to work this morning and glanced to either side of the highway, all I saw was faded green and brown leaves. No contrast, no flavor of fall. And I realized that as a writer, ‘color’ is necessary for a story to thrive.

What do I mean by color?

I guess it is the SPARK of the story. As readers you know what I mean. Sometimes you pick up a book and while there isn’t anything fundamentally wrong with it – the characters are okay, the plot is straightforward, the resolution is satisfying – we don’t fall IN LOVE with it. It lacks the spark for the reader to truly latch onto it like a best friend.

imagesCASDM3SSSo where does this spark come from? Ahhhh the million dollar question. I think (in my very humble opinion) that spark can be a multitude of things. It can be engaging characters or snappy dialogue, or unique plots, or beautiful description. It includes surprising the reader in both little and big ways by providing them with a different view than the faded leaves on the trees. Instead the story is colorful and full of life – making the reader ENJOY the journey.



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