In Thyme for Writers, The Clove Principle: Puncture Your Writing with Warmth is the second in the The Write Spice: Writing Tips for Flavorful Words series by Kathryn Ross.
The pantry, fragrant in Thanksgiving spices, overflows with all the ingredients for holiday baking. Not the least of which are the cloves necessary for flavor-filled pumpkin pie, succulent hams, and first aid should the need arise.
In fact, with diets thrown out the window in the season of family feasts and horn-o-plenty holiday entertaining, a bit of clove oil on hand, rubbed on the tummy, aids digestion and stomach upset when over-eating overtakes the merry-maker at the dinner table.
The chill in the air outside impels us to seek warm things, and clove is the spice to warm traditional dishes this time of year, as well as symbolically impart the inviting fervor of affection in gift-giving.
In Victorian times, the simplicity of homemade gifts from the kitchen or treasures crafted by hand found a warm welcome. Popular gifts were aromatic pomanders made of tiny, stick-like, brown floral cloves inserted into an orange, like beads studded on a ball ornament for a tree. They, too, hung by a ribbon or nestled in a bowl, releasing the citrus scent of the fruit, mingled with the clove’s own pungent passion. A room enhanced by such fragrance stimulated the human senses, mind, and heart, inviting intimacy.
Puncture your writing with clove to inject warmth and the fragrance of human emotion into your descriptive writing.
When I write my first drafts, I’m more concerned with laying out the meat and potatoes of the work without garnished language. Facts must be represented accurately if I’m writing non-fiction; the scene must be played out if I’m writing fiction. Technical language in early drafts, though properly in place, often lack the visceral quality necessary to arrest the senses of the reader and inflame heart and mind with the story material. The select insertion of spicy words help draw out the full flavor of a manuscript.
Use the thesaurus tool in your writing program to locate quality words:
- Keep the thesaurus window open throughout a writing project to have ready access.
- Find descriptive words that connect to one or more of the five senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch) to engage gut responses from your reader.
- Don’t overuse words—one evocative and intimate descriptor can do the job more efficiently than a handful of mediocre modifiers.
Clove adds stimulating, warm flavors to the traditional Thanksgiving menu fare, as it aids digestion when eating generous portions. Help your reader better digest your inviting words by applying The Clove Principle to your manuscripts.
Writer-speaker, Kathryn Ross, ignites a love of literature and learning through Pageant Wagon Productions and Publishing. She writes and publishes homeschool enrichment and Christian living books for home, church, and school. Her passion is to equip women and families in developing a Family Literacy Lifestyle, producing readers and thinkers who can engage the world from a biblical worldview. She blogs and podcasts at TheWritersReverie.com and PageantWagonPublishing.com. Connect with Miss Kathy on Facebook.
Writer, speaker, teacher, and enrichment artist, Kathryn Ross, sweeps readers into the story-worlds of Jane Austen, C. S. Lewis, Hannah Hurnard, Marguerite de Angeli, John Bunyan, and others, exploring powerful truths to fulfilling God’s plan for your life in her latest publication, The Gatekeeper’s Key. Discern your place and season, with encouragement to see purpose in boundaries, find comfort in trials, and gain fortitude in going forth. Short story, personal testimony, excerpts from classic literature, visual imagery, challenge questions for discussion, and journal prompts for writing assignments draw you before the Gatekeeper. It’s quite a journey—but you’re never alone. Always in His Presence, with an Invitation, a Gatekeeper, and a Key. Perhaps more than one. Purchase on Amazon or direct from Pageant Wagon Publishing.