All writers have a process that allows them to create. However, the art of "Writing" is often mistaken for that "Process." Hopefully this blog explains the difference, and inspires people to develop their crafts, become writers, or just keep on writing.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Immersive Writing and the McRib

Alas, while the New Year brings us all hope and the promise of new beginnings, it also means a fond farewell to some things we have come to enjoy. Of course, I am talking about the end of the limited availability of the McRib sandwich at McDonald's. This acquired taste, this blue-collar delicacy is, as the ads say, "for a limited time only," and that time is up. We get our last sandwich, say a fond farewell as we eat it, then wash all the sauce off our face and neck, apologize to our arteries, and refuse to wonder what we actually ate. Yes, that season is over.

For those wondering what the McRib is doing as the lede to a writing post, it is a great example of a subject ripe for the art of immersive writing. While not everyone enjoys the McRib, plenty of people have never eaten one, and many ponder what it actually is, it has plenty of sensory and emotional triggers. Taste and smell, sight, even the word McRib is enough to spark an opinion about its merits. This is when we incorporate immersive writing.

Now, the art of immersive writing is fairly self-explanatory. It is relaying an experience in a way that coats the reader with the sensation of whatever happened. If someone is using this to describe a hike on a winter's day, the reader should feel a compulsion to grab a blanket or put on a sweater. Immersive writing about a headache should make the reader a little dizzy, and writing about the McRib should make the reader want to wash their face and rethink their diet.

To clarify, immersive writing is not simply bombarding the reader with details. Detailed description is not entirely necessary, in fact, because details focus mostly on one sense - visual. The picture with this post surely triggers some response, but sight is just of the five ordinal senses, and there are plenty of other sensations to appeal to besides what the eyes behold.

It's even worth mentioning that taste is not a sense that needs to be the dominant focus of an immersive McRib essay. Besides the flavor of a McRib being difficult to describe in a unique manner, the true appeal (to those in the pro-McRib camp) comes from sensory overlays such as texture, spice, and the slight sweat on the upper lip. These can be put in a positive or negative light, or just as points of fact - the important part is that they are done constantly and with continuing emphasis. 

The other part that comes with the immersive writing technique is just to double-dip the writing in cues that relate to those feelings. The writing should be dripping with descriptors and modifiers, slathered thick with metaphors and similes that relate to the subject, never leaving the reader too far away from a connection to the hickory barbeque sauce or pressed, shaped, mystery meat that is the McRib.

This also applies for the anti-McRib writing as well. If this sandwich isn't your thing, spin those words accordingly. People might not agree with you, but good immersive writing at the very least convinces the reader about your passion on the subject.

And on that note, I am going to have one last McRib sandwich, say a fond farewell, and then head to the gym and start the New Year by working those McRib calories - there are a lot of them to be burned off. I regret nothing.

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