Vivid, as in strikingly bright, intense, animated, realistic. (Vivid defined.)
I’ve noticed a lot of writing advice boils down to this – make your writing Vivid. When you’re setting scenes or creating images, choose language and descriptions that put your reader there, in the middle of it all. Remember to invoke the five senses – sight, sound, scent, feel, taste. Remember to use specific, concrete details. For example, “Joe swung the Chevy into the graveled lot beside Ma’s Diner” invokes a clearer picture than “Joe parked at the restaurant.”
The old saying, “Show, don’t tell,” gets at this. Take Joe again. If you can show us Joe, as he shrugs out of his polyester suit jacket, yanks loose his tie, and breathes deeply, the greasy tease of home cooking on his tongue, and Betty in his sights, well, then, we know he’s relaxed a little, without having to be told.
This applies to dialogue too. Add descriptions of all the things people do when they talk to each other – facial expressions, gestures, multi-tasking, looking out the window at the kids climbing the tree. Again, put the reader there in the room, show the speakers’ emotions, hint at their agendas, and make it Vivid!