I am currently writing a "quest" (a sort of real time you are the hero adventure online) and find myself using the formula "You feel/do/see/etc X" much more often than I would like.

I think it makes my writing uninteresting and am searching for different approaches, but English is not my first language and I do not know where to look.

Where can I find different ways to express things that happen to the reader?

2 Answers 2


For the sensory input, instead of "you see/feel/smell/touch/taste," try moving the thing to the front of the sentence or phrase to make it the subject.

Instead of "You see a shiny red rock," try:

A shiny red rock glints in the gravel at the side of the road.

This presupposes (rather than stating explicitly) that the reader is looking at the red rock in the gravel at the side of the road. This sort of presupposition can lull the reader into the story.

Instead of "You feel the smooth silk curtain," try:

The silk of the curtain slides between your fingers, cool and smooth.

When you're describing inanimate things like this, it's sometimes difficult to find a good verb. But give it a try. You may not be able to eliminate all of instances of "you see," but you can get rid of a lot of them.

I can't think of how to reduce the actions. Maybe someone else can think of ways. If you can get rid of "you see," maybe the actions will seem less troublesome.

  • 1
    Why would actions be any different? Just describe what happens with as much sensual description as the pace of the telling allows. And watch your tenses! It is easy to fall out of present tense during prolonged action sequences. Jun 29, 2016 at 1:58
  • Always keep this answer in mind when writing pretty much anything, as it is pretty much the difference between good and bad writing. A hard skill to master, but learning this means growing as a writer. Jun 29, 2016 at 16:41

Anything can happen, avoid telling the reader how they should feel directly. But if you think of something dramatic, extreme or awesome think about what characters may usually forget when they're in a burning inferno /building from how they got around 'slump'or 'heavy' to what they think or remember for short times. Just write what they may forget to feel if they live to tell of the venture

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