One of the problem areas that I face while writing my novel is that I often get stuck when writing descriptions. I do well when writing action sequences, when writing dialogues, when showing character interactions but when it comes to describing the surroundings, I simply am not able to do it. I mean, I can paint a picture in my head but it just does not translate the same to the paper. It misses the richness, the vividness that I want. And even when I force myself, the end product comes out looking visibly bad. I find myself using the same phrases again and again.
For e.g., If I'm trying to describe a palace, in my head I can see its white walls, how it shines in the moonlight, its entire awe inspiring structure but when I put it to paper, it just does not evoke the same reaction. It just feels as if it is missing something.
I am looking to make my descriptions more rich and vivid and immersive to the reader. So what can I do to improve my ability to write descriptions ? Maybe any online resources or some recommended books ?
I have had a look at these questions -
and also taken a look at Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch. While they deal with theories to use (5 senses approach, etc.), what I am looking for is a more practical approach with practical tips and examples reflecting them.
Update: I'm clarifying my question in response to Laurem Ipsum's question -
First of all, when I say "a practical approach", I mean it in the sense of an example oriented approach and not in the sense of feasibility (I should have said practical-oriented)...for e.g. starting with a scenario and making it better with each tip so that I can actually see the tip in action, something like that (I know it might be a tall order, but doesn't hurt to ask :))
Second, The issue I've is not with the visualisation (as is in the five senses approach), In any scene - I can observe the scene with all my senses but when i try to put it in on paper, I am not able to make it as immersive as it is in my head. My beta readers do not walk away with the same impression that I've in my mind. I understand that people interpret differently and I do not want to force every scene but in certain scenes, I want to create an experience the readers want to be immersed in.
Take a look at the below excerpt from an Ashok Banker book:
Through a shroud of torrential rain, glimpsed darkly. Upon a grassy, green mound in the centre of a clearing in the heart of a jungle named Janasthana. Motionless as a redstone statue, rain sluicing off the hardened planes of his body, he stood, one dark shadow amidst many. The sinuous curve of a longbow was welded to his silhouette; rain ran down the length of a longsword hanging by a thongbelt at his slender waist.
The clearing was a rough oval some five hundred feet long and two hundred feet wide: broadest in the north, narrowing in the centre and tapering into thorny undergrowth at the southern end. It broke the dense continuity of the ancient jungle with shocking abruptness, like a footprint left by a giant in millennia past—or a deva. The treeline sheered off raggedly at its periphery, trees leaning inwards drunkenly like a ragged ring of bhang-sodden revellers on a feast day.
... (Some Text Removed)
Whether you believed the legend or not, it was a good spot to make a stand against a horde of rakshasas. A desperate, outnumbered, outmatched, last stand.
The rain fell steadily, speaking a thousand tongues. It shirred like an angry cobra upon the large fronds of plantain and papaya trees, rattled like hailstones on the hollow worm-corrupted length of a rotten trunk. At the northernmost edge of the clearing, atop a very tall oak tree, concealed from the eyes of the mortals below, a simian creature squatted on a sturdy branch. From time to time, he shifted slightly, always keeping the mortal warrior below clearly in view. He hugged the trunk beside him with spindly yet strong arms. Even had the rain not cloaked the upper branches in a fine mist-like haze, the canopy of newly-grown spring foliage was dense enough to mask his presence from those below.
The text maybe a bit purple for some but it allows me to visualise the whole thing exactly as it is described. I'm completely immersed in this. This is what I want for my readers. I want my text to extract an image out of the reader.