Sometimes, I have trouble coming up with a way to end a description properly, especially one that's at the very end of a chapter. What are some of the things you can do, especially when the description just describes a set of actions taken by a character? Is there a way of doing this without going inside the head of the character and describing his psychological state or inner thoughts?

He waved her goodbye, and then he sipped his cup of coffee while looking towards the window. When the elevator rang, he looked back at her with a smile to send her off.

I have no idea what you can do after that without describing his psychological state or inner thoughts. The character doesn't do any action and I don't want to describe his psychological state or inner thoughts, because the character is extremely unimportant to the story.

Two lines feels way too short, I am trying to add like 3-4 additional lines.

  • 2
    Why would you want to add more description if there is nothing worth describing?
    – Mori
    Commented Sep 2, 2019 at 8:56
  • 1
    I feel that you have described what isn't important to your story, but not what is... The text you write should, in general, be about the latter... Commented Sep 2, 2019 at 9:00

2 Answers 2


The problem with your description doesn't seem to be the word count, but a lack of conflict. Sesquipedalias has the right idea - it feels like you've described something that isn't important to your story.

You have a character waving goodbye and drinking his coffee - both ordinary, everyday actions. You've gone out of your way to call the reader's attention to something that appears to be perfectly normal. It's a signal to the readers that something isn't normal, and they should take a closer look.

Mundane actions are rarely described in detail, unless they're remarkable in some way. Readers can safely assume that a character went to work, ate dinner, and went to sleep. There's no real need for the writer to mention these things - unless the character got into a car accident during the morning commute, had an argument break out at the dinner table, or fell asleep and had a bizarre, prophetic dream.

It's up to you to decide what you wanted to achieve by adding these two lines and putting more focus on it (or, if there was none, I'd recommend editing it out).

If you're looking to avoid describing the character's inner thoughts, one option is to change how you describe his actions. For example:

He gave her a halfhearted wave goodbye, then sighed and sipped his cup of coffee while staring gloomily towards the window. When the elevator rang, he looked back at her and forced a smile to send her off.


If this character is unimportant to the story presumably the other character in the scene is more important, focus more on them.

It seemed to her she would not be able to coax anything else out of him as he waved her goodbye and took a sip from his coffee. As the elevator doors closed she saw him smile and was glad for the words of wisdom he had given her.

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