Posted on April 4, 2012 - by Nicole Humphrey Cook
I decided to flip back to my helpful posts for today, so no humor or regular get to know Nicole posts, only a helpful post that will hopefully get you thinking about description. I also toyed with the dialogue ‘D’ word, but decided I wanted to focus on description after my adverbs and adjectives lesson.
So here are 5 easy tips for using and perfecting description in your stories and books.
- Leave out the stuff that doesn’t matter. When you’re writing a description whether it is to describe a person, location, scene or just part of the story, pay attention to whether it helps the story. There is no need to go into a description about your characters dog scratching all the time from fleas, unless somehow that is relevant to the story.
- Use your 5 senses in descriptions. Don’t just see it, but hear it, taste it, smell it and touch it. Write a few sentences practicing all 5 senses and you’ll get it in no time.
- Adjectives and adverbs are obviously important, but don’t just make it broad – make it specific. Don’t describe her face as beautiful. Instead, describe her skin as smooth and creamy, her hair as long and flowing, the color of nutmeg. Follow?
- Use real life to recreate situations. Remind yourself of a situation that has occurred and remember what it felt like being there, what you were thinking, doing, feeling. Use this to guide your descriptions in your story.
- The last tip I have is one I do often. Close your eyes. Envision your scene in your head. The color of the walls, the ceiling, what does the room look like, can you smell anything? What sounds do you hear? Turn around slowly seeing this in your mind, what’s behind you – in front of you? Etc. You get it right?
Doing all of these things will help your stories right themselves and allow the reader to be there right along with you, seeing things as you intended them to be seen. What tips do you have for writing description?
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