Why You Should Use Aesthetics


What is the difference between movies and books? Both tell stories, and both convey meanings. Movies have the wonderful gift of visual art. They show dazzling pictures of oceans, city lights, dances, quiet castles, etc. Books, on the other hand, must describe and show everything through words. They must feed your imagination. However, both movies and books have Aesthetics.

Aesthetics are key components to creating a compelling story. They are what draw people in and in rapture them.

I introduce to you the world of esthetics.

Choose an Aesthetic for Your Story

Another term for aesthetic is atmosphere. It is the tune that sets your novel. Whether it is chill-champagne-in-glass-jazz or Arabian-earthy-spices-dazzling-rugs or pretentious-white-couch-kale-smoothy-Harvard-experience, it is what sets your novel. There should be at least two esthetics in your novel: A positive and negative one. One should draw your reader in, the other should make them disgusted and saddened.

Think of the saddest, more thought provoking story you have read. Put your finger on the aesthetic or atmosphere that made you feel that way. Esthetics are powerful, are they not?

If you are writing a fantasy novel or multi-culture novel, I encourage you to use several aesthetics, one for each culture. The trick is to be able to change the aesthetic but still maintain the style of your novel. If you change the style of your novel, your reader will become lost.

Find a Picture, Set the Tone of Your Story

Most writers have Pinterest or some time of image/idea generator. The next time you see an inspiring picture, use it as a story prompt. Let the picture be your guide for your esthetic. Glorify the writers rule, “Show don’t tell.” Saturate your reader with the details they want to hear about. Make their imagination crave for more.

Do not fall into the trap of assigning weak adjectives and adverbs to your sentences. Study the following example:

Flavia walked into the coffee shop. She smelled the baking pastries and looked through the glass at the yummy looking snacks. On a wall, a blackboard contained a menu with fancy names for foods.

Pretty boring, is it not? The descriptions are weak and do not spark the imagination. Now look at the next example:

Flavia stepped eagerly into the coffee shop. Warm air surrounded her, and soft jazz tunes played in the background. A sweet and savory aroma of pastries filled her senses. She plastered her nose to the glass protecting the desirable desserts. Glancing up, she saw a blackboard hanging on a bare brick wall. Lacy handwriting spelled the names of “Chocolate Cherry Crush” and “Very Vanilla Vittles.”

The last paragraph was not a great example of aesthetics, however, it described the atmosphere much better than the first example.

Capture a feeling, write the aesthetic, portray an atmosphere and your readers will fall in love with your story.

Follow Annalia and her writing journey at blog located here.