Let me convey my message through example, today.
“Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.” ~Albert Schweitzer
Take five minutes, read through the excerpts of my books below, and see if you can easily imagine the scenes described.
The trees were swaying in the gentle breeze. Long shadows of branch and limb stretched across green grass and winding trails. It was near dusk, and the red sunlight was lighting up the sky and reaching down to the earth in a burst of a million rays. A line of trees stood along a fence and marked the end of the park. Several black lattices arched over many trails, wreaths upon wreaths of flowers dangling from them. Winding stone and brick trails snaked through the wet grass, long shadows covering some of them, and warm sunlight drifting down on others.
It must have been raining earlier in the day, for several puddles were reflecting trees upside down. Dry patches of grass baked warm in the sunlight, yet other grasslands of the park were quite wet, little or no sunlight reaching their soft blades.
~The Williams House, Chapter 1: In the Park
Now the attic had long ago been considered the great place to imagine the most impossible games and congregate between the working orders of the day. It was a singular but very large room, taking up about as much space as one of the great rooms on the floor below. The ceiling curved around to a few points, revealing the shape of the roof with its wooden timbers. Window seats were in front of three large dormer windows, their bases wide and their tops narrowing to a peak. Two narrow staircases spiraled down from either end of the attic, reaching to the floor below. Their closed stairs were made of wood and creaked when tread upon. In two places in the room were a set of sofas and chairs that were fairly worn, yet still comfortable, and the children would at times string sheets and blankets across these to make a large tent. The carpet was not as thick in the attic as it was in the rest of the house, yet it was still soft and a nice shade of blue. The worn down piano lay against the wall that did not have a window, and the instrument looked weather-beaten and old. Yet it was in tune and sounded almost as good as ever. A few stacks of books and several toys lay scattered around the room, with plenty of space in-between.
~The Williams House, Chapter 2: The Start of School
One light that did not extinguish over the now quiet town of Plymouth was that of the old Southgate Inn. Its yellow firelight could be seen glowing from the windows and shining out upon other walls and roofs in the streets. If one had looked into its front window, he would have been able to observe a few customers, chatting around a few randomly placed tables. Firelight danced upon their faces and made their eyes glow as they laughed and spoke in soft, quiet voices. Some of the sailors were there as well, mostly keeping to themselves along the wall nearest the fire.
An older gentleman could have also been seen, coming in now and then to stoke the fire and serve late supper for those who had put off the occasion until now. There was an abundance of fish – freshly cooked trout (that had been caught that day), codfish cakes, warm soda bread, and great slabs of Muenster cheese. There were also steaming mugs of tea and warm milk with honey for those who wished to soon be asleep.
Into this inn trudged a tall gentleman, sleek but well built, late at night (a quarter after twelve), and it was clear he had been out in the very bad weather for several hours. But a different look in his eyes suggested that he had been out in bad weather his whole life and didn’t mind in the least. Everyone remaining was scattered thin now, in groups of threes or fours. They were speaking in even quieter tones than before. Some cast wary looks at the stranger, except the sailors and the innkeeper. The innkeeper seemed to know the man, whispering in his ear and ushering him over to a table in the corner. They exchanged a few words before the innkeeper left.
The stranger looked up and around and smiled brightly. He seemed well familiar with the old inn timbers, and after looking about, he settled down to his own supper and contented himself for the moment about that business. A sheathed cutlass dangled from his side, and on its sheath, inlaid with gold, were the letters C. H. for Captain Horne. His eyes continued to glance at the room with a glint of old memories and a sense of hominess, and he gave his coming voyage no thought at all, looking on cheerily, as if he had spent every night of his life in that inn, eating and laughing at the other customers’ remarks.
~Treasure on the Southern Moor, Chapter 1: The Voyage
Your fellow writer,