Here are two pictures of the beautiful Garden of the Gods in Colorado. Both are stunning. The whole place is a sight to behold. But the one on the left is flat compared to the one on the right. Why? Because the layer of clouds gives it added depth and texture.
I find in my writing I need to add layers and textures as well.
I can add texture with description but I need to be careful not to bog the story down. Just a flavor of the setting or a thumbnail description of the character.
Another way to add texture is to layer subplots, add symbolism (Symbolism is basically something that has a meaning beyond itself) and motif–a recurring object, or song, for instance, that triggers a response in the character. I can also add texture and layers through conflict and theme.
All of that is cerebral and means nothing to most people. Suffice it to say stories can be flat if no layers are involved.
A little like life, I suppose. We need clouds to make shadows that give our lives depth and beauty. It’s the strong wind that makes the tree roots grow deep. Like the saying goes, without the rain, there is no rainbow.
Or as Bill and Gloria say in their song, “Through it All”
I thank God for the mountains,
and I thank Him for the valleys,
I thank Him for the storms He brought me through.
For if I’d never had a problem,
I wouldn’t know God could solve them,
I’d never know what faith in God could do.
Full Song Lyrics: http://www.lyrster.com/lyrics/through-it-all-lyrics-bill-gloria-gaither.html#ixzz5HJCcyQIG
May your life be filled with just enough sunshine and rain, shadow and pain to make it a beautiful thing.