I have an image in my mind but I can't describe the topography, so I would always repeat, "grounds", "a little elavation", "inside the forest","some mounds,"surrounded by houses", is there any references on how to produce this image much better for the reader?

The image in my mind is a settlement, the good forces are there to defend against the enemy forces and they are laying traps around the houses, the ground and etc. Its a war fiction. So I'd like to make good descriptions of warzones. Are there any references to that?

  • If you want topographically accurate descriptions (like for the battlefields), I'd stay that a picture is worth a thousand words.
    – Alexander
    Commented Apr 2, 2020 at 22:57
  • @Alexander I'm afraid I dont have resources for that.
    – user43717
    Commented Apr 2, 2020 at 23:49
  • @user43717, You can't look up a picture and describe it? Commented Apr 18, 2020 at 22:58

1 Answer 1


A few ideas to help out:

  1. Describe in terms of the characters building the traps and navigating the area. Imagine that the characters were setting the traps, how many people work on it, how long does it take, describe the process. While doing this describe how the traps use local geography "The grass-topped hole fits perfectly into the miles of farmland surrounding the settlement" Then describe the characters trying to find the lookout spot in the nearby land "Frodo scanned the verdant treetops, searching for a telltale flag that signalled the lookout post"
  2. Describe the area in terms of minor characters. The MC could walk down the path, showing the houses and lands of different members of the settlement. "Frodo looked around the expanse of Jim's farm, three miles of corn, billowing in the wind. Beside it, the largest in the settlement, Lord Elrond's cattle farm, eighteen miles of cows and sheep."
  3. A third possibility is to create a map. This is not always possible, but if you have a picture in your head, draw a simple, pencil map and then describe it portion by portion in great detail, so the reader can understand its full extent.

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