Writing Descriptions

Find out about any writing contests. Share freelance writing opportunities, writing tips and tricks, as well as your favorite books and software for writers. Share the love.

Moderator: RedBaron

Post Reply
livinginthe1940s
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2014 12:05 am

Writing Descriptions

Post by livinginthe1940s » Tue Apr 21, 2015 11:04 pm

I'm in the process of reading "Word Painting: A Guide to Writing Descriptively" by Rebekah McClanahan. It's chock-full of anecdotes, other great writer's descriptions, encouraging tips, inspiration, and meaningful exercises at the end of each chapter. I highly recommend it if you want to improve your descriptions!
Tisha M.
read. write. edit. write.

Lois76
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu May 17, 2018 11:08 am

Re: Writing Descriptions

Post by Lois76 » Wed Jun 27, 2018 5:23 am

Okay, so I feel like I try to describe too much of what's around the character, and their appearance as well. I just can't help it, though! Is there a good way I can kinda show the reader what everything looks like without necessarily pointing it out for them, or should I just leave it so they speculate what everything looks like?
Please, check my blog http://stefaniealvarez.bravesites.com/blog Maybe you can reccomend smth

User avatar
Deb Porter
FaithWriters and Site Admin
FaithWriters and Site Admin
Posts: 1680
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2005 4:02 am
Location: Sydney, Australia
Contact:

Re: Writing Descriptions

Post by Deb Porter » Wed Jun 27, 2018 5:18 pm

Lois76 wrote:Okay, so I feel like I try to describe too much of what's around the character, and their appearance as well. I just can't help it, though! Is there a good way I can kinda show the reader what everything looks like without necessarily pointing it out for them, or should I just leave it so they speculate what everything looks like?
Please, check my blog http://stefaniealvarez.bravesites.com/blog Maybe you can reccomend smth
Hi. Definitely don't leave it all to the reader's imagination. You need to insert little slivers of information here and there, naturally. Show the reader interacting with their environment. Show the reader through their interaction with others. When inserted in natural ways as the story unfolds, you will help to develop your character and the scene.

Intentional narrative descriptions here and there are fine, too, but don't overdo it. Finding the balance takes practice. The reader needs to be able to see the scene through the main character's eyes, but they don't need an overload of detail--unless the character is in awe of some incredible thing and becomes detailed in her description of it.

Yes, I know, it's not so straightforward. It really is trial and error to know when enough is enough. I'm reading a Kate Morton book at the moment, and she has some beautiful descriptive writing. It's done so well that it never feels excessive. It suits her style of story. The scene comes to life. However, I never feel like she's overdoing it.

As always, the 1st rule for every writer is to be an avid reader. Don't read purely for pleasure. Read to glean skills. Look at the way a favourite author turns phrases and describes scenes. It will probably vary from author to author, and also from era to era.

Have fun and let the characters lead you.

Love, Deb
Deb
FaithWriters' Writing Challenge Co-ordinator
Breath of Fresh Air Press

Breath of Fresh Air Press - a little publisher with a lot of heart

Image

Post Reply

Return to “Contests, Writing Tips, Tools, and Freelance Opportunities”