Questions tagged [description]

Painting a picture with a thousand words.

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3
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it stylistically sound to use onomatopoeic words?

I'm writing a non-comedic fantasy novel, and I find myself using onomatopoeic words, like "SLAM!" and "TWISH" (for the shooting of arrows). To my knowledge, onomatopoeic words are almost only used in ...
17
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8answers
3k views

How to describe POV characters?

I want to describe my first person perspective character who's narrating without doing the Wattpad "mirror scene." How would I go about this?
3
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5answers
791 views

Should fiction mention song names and iPods?

In my novel, the protagonist is depressed. In the story which is in my mind... The autumn leaves were falling as I was sitting alone and Gary Jules' "Mad World" was ringing in my iPod. The ...
3
votes
1answer
49 views

How do we follow up a description within a descriptive text with another description?

How do we follow up a description within a descriptive text with another description? Let's say you mention A and B in the first sentence, and then follow up with a long description of B, how do you ...
18
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6answers
5k views

Is it bad to describe a character long after their introduction?

I have a tendency to forget to describe character's appearance. But I always describe them, though often a little while after their introduction. So, how long after someone's introduction is "...
1
vote
1answer
103 views

Should we avoid “nonsensical” or “unclear” metaphors?

Should we avoid "nonsensical" or "unclear" metaphors? I am not sure if this is a case of "nonsensical" or "unclear" metaphor, but sometimes you have certain phrases that doesn't seem to be suited for ...
5
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3answers
1k views

A flower's head or heart?

I’m currently writing a story and one of my characters is a butterfly. In one of the scenes, she manages to run away from a bunch of hungry lizards and hides into a flower; let’s say a Zinnia. When ...
13
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7answers
2k views

How do you show, through your narration, a hard and uncaring world?

As I've already mentioned, I'm working on a sci-fi novel. One of the main feelings that I wanted to represent when I started is the sense of a vast, empty, artificial world, mostly cold and uncaring ...
2
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3answers
194 views

What's wrong with impersonal and lifeless descriptions in a novel? [closed]

It feels like there is something wrong with using impersonal descriptions in fiction. But what is it? As an example, I'm unhappy with the following passage I wrote, because the descriptions aren't ...
13
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5answers
6k views

Writing “hahaha” versus describing the laugh

When posting an excerpt of my book on a critiquing site, someone commented on my use of "hahaha" inside the dialogue instead of just having a laughing verb after or before it. They said it took them ...
3
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1answer
87 views

How do we properly manage transitions within a descriptive section? [closed]

I wrote the following: She invited him to look out the window, which he did. He looked out of the gray window and saw a field of green vegetables under a lush blue sky. Children were playing in ...
36
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10answers
8k views

Protagonist's race is hidden - should I reveal it?

I'm currently on the fourth draft of a novel I'm writing, which features two protagonists. One of them, is, in my mind, black. I say, "in my mind" because at no point in the story do I ever explicitly ...
3
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2answers
162 views

How can I emphasize the horror of a ritual without getting too overly graphic?

A person is born with a certain amount of mana, which increases with age and peaks at a certain point. Individuals are born with all the mana they will ever have, but it can be refined with practice ...
3
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2answers
176 views

In third-person limited POV, what can be described?

In 3rd person limited, when the protagonist is present in a scene, can the narrator describe something in a scene that the protagonist cannot see?
15
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11answers
6k views

A poker game description that does not feel gimmicky

I'm writing a scene in which four characters play a high-stakes poker game. So far my narrator has been an omniscient third person, who just does not wish to enter into the characters' heads. I ...
4
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3answers
153 views

Creating character imagery without describing their physical looks

This is more for my own curiosity than anything else but I was wondering if when reading about a character with no specified gender and no description of their looks, does the choice of words used to ...
2
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1answer
68 views

Descriptive Writing [duplicate]

When writing, is it more description (adjective, adverbs, imagery, etc.) the better? I have been told that there is a point where descriptions just clutters a story. How do I know when to stop? In the ...
1
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2answers
138 views

How to describe a fist bump explosion?

I'm having trouble describing a fist bump explosion in my story. I can't just say "they did a fist bump explosion," because everyone may not know exactly what that looks like. Googling doesn't ...
4
votes
3answers
108 views

How do I differentiate characters in first person POV when the narrator doesn't know them yet?

Okay, so two women are in a bar and I'm telling the story from one of the women's POV. Two guys come in and the women are watching/listening to them from a distance. They don't know their names or ...
13
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5answers
2k views

Describing a person. What needs to be mentioned?

When describing the physical features of my more important characters, I often don't add much. I of course describe important features, especially if they will be relevant in the story. For example ...
5
votes
3answers
98 views

When is using a simile better than giving a literal description?

Definition of simile : a figure of speech comparing two unlike things that is often introduced by like or as (as in cheeks like roses) Similes are nice tools that every narrator has (even if I'...
17
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6answers
4k views

Should a narrator ever describe things based on a character's view instead of facts?

There is something I find myself doing often while writing, and I don't even know what to call it, but I would like to know if its good practice. It happens when I'm writing from a third-person ...
17
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11answers
2k views

Describing a chess game in a novel

I have a scene in a upcoming novel where two people play a game of chess, and I realized how difficult it was to describe it. The problem is due to the fact that there are many pieces and you can't ...
-5
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4answers
485 views

How does one describe somebody who is bi-racial to someone who is blind? [closed]

Describing mixed races in this way would be too broad. How do I say that someone is black? How do you describe somebody of two or more races? Word like mixed and biracial do not depict that person's ...
15
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14answers
11k views

How do I say that someone is black?

Sorry if this is an ancient solved problem to ask in 2019, but I googled about this and Quora isn't really answering me. I searched for the words black and race and politically as key-words on this ...
2
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1answer
55 views

How to describe a row of two different types of trees?

This may seem like a silly question (it definitely feels like it has one of those answers that I already know, but just can't dig up). And maybe this isn't the right place for it, but I am asking for ...
8
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3answers
356 views

Naming things the POV character doesn't know

My middle-grade novel is third person with one primary and one secondary viewpoint character. Sometimes the narrator hovers a bit more, sometimes the narrator is more in the character's head. The ...
1
vote
2answers
284 views

How do we succintly describe a boxing match?

I am writing a short story, and the boxing match which comes after 2/3 of the story is likely to exceed the length of the entire story, so how do you cut the action short? Do you describe the match ...
11
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4answers
2k views

Everyone is beautiful

I've noticed a quirk with the narrator voice of one of the two novels I'm working on. This narrator only describes the beautiful aspects of every character's features. You might think the women are ...
8
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3answers
342 views

Knowing when to use pictures over words

When writing about food, be it a cookbook or a food blog, as long as the media supports it, the use of pictures is going to make a difference in the quality of the work. So when I am writing about ...
-2
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1answer
52 views

Writing a long description of a sequence of actions while still being impersonal [closed]

When I try to do this, the description feels very dry, and I am not sure if it's possible to make it feel less dry while still being impersonal and super objective (because I am using a omniscient and ...
4
votes
5answers
106 views

How can I write an annoying character without annoying the reader?

My story has a group of five refugees traveling across the kingdom. One of them is preachy and pretty much useless (unused to physical labor, trying to convert the heathens in the group). She's ...
10
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4answers
1k views

What are some ways of extending a description of a scenery?

I find it very hard sometimes to describe a scenery, especially when the features are very bland, like you describe a city where all of the buildings are tall and look about the same or a plain with ...
1
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2answers
44 views

How do I add more details in my story? [closed]

I'm writing a story where two lovers meet then I having one of them die at the end. I am curious to see how much imagery I should add.
18
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6answers
4k views

How to write painful torture scenes without being over-the-top

I'm trying to write torture scenes but I'm not really all that confident about it since I've never written anything like it before and have never really witnessed anything violent. I know the methods ...
18
votes
8answers
3k views

How to make clear what a part-humanoid character looks like when they're quite common in their world?

How can I describe an unconventionally part-humanoid character, so the reader knows clearly what they look like, while in a world where these people are normal and it's not unusual at all for ...
21
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11answers
9k views

How to describe skin colour, if “white” is not the point of reference?

A character looks at another character, skin colour creates certain associations. A character looks at himself, and associations would be shaped by society, and by what is "normal" in that society. ...
5
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4answers
118 views

Describing paralyzing fear in the first person

I would appreciate some suggestions that would help me describe intense terrifying fear that my main character feels when the airplane he is on suddenly goes into a seemingly out of control dive that ...
3
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1answer
61 views

How should I describe a light beam coming out from any point in polar coordinates?

In my article a half circle shaped sheet is being rotated on z axis. A light beam is constructed on the surface of the sheet in any time in any point. How should I describe the light beam with its ...
4
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2answers
79 views

How much description is too much?

A companion question for How much description is necessary, how much description is too much? I close my eyes, I can visualise my MC's bedroom (for example) in tiniest detail: the accent wallpaper, ...
15
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5answers
1k views

How much description is necessary?

I have trouble imagining things. With me everything is blurred, as if I were almost blind. That's why I find it hard to describe things. For example, the protagonists enter a castle. I have a very ...
1
vote
2answers
84 views

Is this imagery?

Would this small paragraph in my short story be considered as imagery? (Rose is looking for a painting) Rose and Mr. Howard stepped inside. There were cobwebs everywhere. Lots and lots of old ...
5
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2answers
122 views

How do you describe sentimental human physical interactions?

For example, Amanda just lost a battle in her life. When she met her best friend and mother, she lost it and started crying. The other characters comforted her with a hug, some talks, and some pats on ...
9
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4answers
211 views

Tips and tricks to describe more

I'm careful with the phrasing of this question as it is dangerously close to be opinion based. Everyone has their preference regarding the amount of description they expect to find in a work of ...
2
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2answers
68 views

Describing the face and physiological responses in different languages and peoples

The English language evolves from the English people, and the English people live way up there, away from the equator. So, it is no wonder that the English language will reflect this. He was a tall, ...
30
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5answers
3k views

Avoiding repetition when there are two unidentified individuals

The tall figure was overwhelmingly tall. It stood in the corner of the room. The skinny figure right beside him sat on a chair. It wasn't moving at all. The tall figure moved to the opposite side ...
2
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3answers
111 views

How can I make distinctions between a hive-mind and a super consciousness?

Not sure if this is a worldbuilding or writing question, but here it goes. In this setting, gods of humanity are beings of absolute order that exist in another plane of existence. They are ...
0
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1answer
61 views

Describing new/strange foods [closed]

Alright, another question from the POV of Eris, my unreliable narrator living in a post-apocalyptic world who has just met other humans and is experiencing a variety of new things. She just met a ...
2
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1answer
61 views

Transitioning between an Interrupted sleep and falling back into it again WITHOUT repeating material?

I'm currently working on a fanfiction/ comic, and a more recent scene I've been working on is a specific character re-awaking in the middle of the night to an Owl's call, and, unrelatedly, describing ...
2
votes
3answers
150 views

How to describe a horse from the POV of someone who has never seen one? [closed]

In my story, my narrator has only recently met other humans and the biggest creature she has ever interacted with are dogs. In the survivors' camp, she encounters their horses and is pretty freaked ...