This is where spatial order comes in. It is the method of organizing content such that the details are described in the order of their location in space. It is a logical progression of a view that proceeds usually from left to right and top to bottom. This method of description helps the readers visualize the scene better. Spatial order is often used for descriptive writing. This method makes it easier for the writer to paint a picture for the reader.
In my pantry, there are several things like flour, eggs, tea powder, sugar, canned food, and dry pasta.
This sentence gives a general information about the things that one will find in the pantry. Reading the sentence, the readers will picture each item given in the list. However, they may not be able to picture those items in the pantry as there is no clue of how they have been placed or arranged.
In my pantry, eggs, tea powder, and sugar have been kept in the top shelf. Flour, canned food, and dry pasta are on the second shelf.
Here, spatial order has been used. The items in the pantry have been enlisted in the order of their location. This way of writing has made it easier for a reader to visualize the arrangement of items, thus painting for him, a better picture of the pantry. Thus, we see that the use of spatial order gives a structure to the description, and also makes it easier for the readers to understand it.
► The writer then works on the details of the scene and describes its elements in a logical order.
► When using the spatial order, he chooses to describe them from right to left or top to bottom. Starting from the left-most element in the scene, he moves to the right. Or he may go top-down. He may start from a point far from the main character through whose eyes the readers are viewing the scene.
► To form a logical relationship between the details, the writer needs to use transitions. They are words or phrases that are placed in the beginning of a sentence to connect it with the idea expressed in the preceding sentence.
To the side of
On the top of
At that point
On the other hand
On the right hand
On the left hand
► In the above section, the wall has been described first. It is the farthest from the reader. Then, the sidewalk has been described. Then the elements have been described from left to right; the order in which they are physically located. The use of spatial order helps the reader visualize the scene just through words (even without looking at the image).
► In this paragraph, the narrator describes a particular scene as seen by the protagonist of the novel. The description starts with two volcanoes which are at a distance. The narrator uses the transitional word “nearer” to give the location of the village. He uses other transitions “on the other side” and “through” to describe a space on the other side of the highway. Lowry has used spatial order as a tool to organize the details of the scene.
➥ The descriptions follow a logical order, thus helping the reader visualize a scene in a better way.
➥ With the use of transitional words, the scene can be made easier to understand.
➥ Since the elements of a scene are described in a certain order, all the elements get equal weight. With this, it becomes difficult to emphasize one particular aspect of the scene.