cracked/pitted windshield, dusty and faded dashboard, broken window cranks, muddy floor mats, scuffed interior, dial radio knobs, cassette player, broken radio, broken AC or heat, dusty vets, trash on the floor (hamburger wrappers, big gulp cups, coffee take out cups, chocolate bar wrappers, donuts boxes, etc), tissue box, maps, glove box that won't open or won't lock, ripped or worn patches in the seats, stuffing falling out, metal thermos for coffee, crumpled up tissues on the floor, back seat covered with tools, gear, junk, newspapers, etc, wedge-tilt mini windows by side mirrors, memento hanging from the rear view mirror that gives insight into the truck's owner (garter belt, beads, rosary, religious figure, tree shaped air freshener, baby shoes etc) broken hood ornament, dirty running boards, rust sores on the frame, rust ring or patch over the gas tank flap, scratches, dents, scuffs, rusted wheel wells, bald or mismatched tires, uneven bumper, missing side mirror, sliding back window, pick up box with a loose tailgate and a collection of tool boxes, road salt, sandbags, gravel bags, ropes, hay bale or trash inside, broken tail lights, oil leaking onto the ground where it sits, colored tape over tail lights, broken signal, rusty muffler, white or dark gray exhaust sputtering out the tail pipe, crooked radio antenna, ash trays filled with cigarette butts or crumpled gum wrapper balls and twists, push lighter knob, spills and stains on the seats, mud scuffs on the interior door, loose mud flaps, gravel on the floor mats, cassette tapes with scratched or cracked cases scattered over the seats
Exhaust rumbling or sputtering, a tinny rattle caused from a loose heat shield, grinding gears, squealing or squeaking brakes, back fires, creaky springs in the seats, a grumbling engine, a scraping whine of the starter trying to catch, chugging/hiccuping/stuttering motor, the chunk sound of a standard gear sliding into place, the squeak of the clutch being engaged, the creak of the emergency brake being pressed down, the bump of items in the trunk sliding around or jumping, the rattle of empty containers being displaced by feet, hands looking for something, or going around tight turns, radio or old country/rock cassette tapes, driver humming/singing to old tunes, loud conversation so to be heard over a loud engine, the slurp of a drink through a straw, swearing or smacking the dash of the truck in hopes of getting it to run, the slightly squeaky rub of the window as it's cranked down or up, doors slamming shut
Old food, dust, dirt, crumbling foam padding, smelly feet, spills (soured milk, pop, coffee) oil and grease, cigarettes, air freshener trying to cover the other sells up
cold coffee, water, gum, cigarrettes, take out food, gas station food (beef jerky, chocolate bars, chips, hot dog, peanuts, etc) pop, energy drinks or shots
The smooth knob of the stick shift, the bouncing seat, the resistance of the emergency break, the pressure of the gas pedal, spinning the radio knob or volume knob, shouldering the door to get it to open from the inside, pulling the door handle hard to get it to shut, The jerk of motion at start up, a jarring ride over washboard roads, gravel and ruts, pressing hard on soft breaks, reaching down to the seat to grab something (a cassette tape, a chip bag, a piece of paper with an address on it, a box of cigarettes), fingers bumping the ridges of the steering wheel as it spins, tapping the steering wheel to the beat of a song, feeling the trucks vibration in the body as it idles, the hot sun on the arm, breeze on the side of the face and upper body from the window, leaning a arm on the open window door sill, adjusting a mirror, hitting the horn with the flat of the hand, sweeping a hand over trash on the seat to find something, the searing heat of spilled coffee on the hand or lap, dust in the throat from a open window
--The words you choose can convey atmosphere and mood.
Cool air as good as any air conditioner poured through the windows and tossed my pine tree air freshener. Potholes in the dirt road tried to ruin my good mood but the patched seat softened the blows. I grinned ear to ear and turned up the radio. This truck would probably outlive me.
I scooted to the seat's edge, vainly pumping the gas pedal while sweat dripped into my eyes, stinging. I rocked to and fro, but the ancient truck continued to slow. A clang, then smoke shot out of the hood in three places. I slammed the cracked dashboard with my fist. Stupid truck!
--Similes and metaphors create strong imagery when used sparingly.
Example 1: (Simile)
I stood on the running board of Henry's truck, trying to figure out where to sit. The bench seat was like the confectionery isle at the Gas and Go--a total mish-mash of beef jerky, pretzel bags, hunting magazines and red bull cans.
Example 2: (Metaphor)
The truck bucked and shuddered down the rutted road, nearly yanking my hands from the steering wheel. Was I on my way to pick up Beth-Ann or at a damn rodeo?