Questions tagged [description]

Painting a picture with a thousand words.

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1answer
60 views

Does anyone know any specific words that can be used to describe a character flying?

I feel like I've used words like "floating" and "hovering" too often, to the point of tedium.
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3answers
384 views

How to find ways to enhance character's sensory experience?

A common piece of advice young writers get is to use all of the senses with which the POV character perceives their surroundings. I can feel how important this piece is. I would like to describe ...
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0answers
72 views

Translating analogies in a 100 year old fairy tale

I am having a hard time translating analogies and descriptions in a fairy tale written a century ago. My fear is today's children will not understand the analogy at all or misunderstand it, and as ...
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3answers
97 views

How does one go about describing subtle movements in characters actions?

I'm struggling with figuring out a way to describe subtle movements in a scene that wouldn't normally be picked up on if not shown. For example: A character is being put in a prison cell and another ...
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3answers
105 views

Help with describing an unconscious character

One of the characters in my book, the narrator, is suddenly knocked unconscious. How would I describe what he sees/feels? Do I just have a big timeskip, with him confused as to what happened when he ...
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2answers
93 views

Can you be too graphic in your descriptions?

I am writing a Harry Potter-like DnD fantasy story, but for readers of ages 18+. I have a description in my mind of the MC having lost his mother and his magic: The feeling is like a hand being ...
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1answer
113 views

What do you call this nose shape?

What would you call this nose shape? I'm describing a southern Chinese character (not this guy). Snub or button-nose gets way overused and is not entirely accurate in this case. EDIT: The character ...
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1answer
138 views

Skin Tone Spectrum Glossary

I have a number of folks who aren't beige in my current novel and I'm trying to come up with more precise yet poetic names for the skin tones. Is there a glossary of the skin tone spectrum ranging ...
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1answer
96 views

How do I describe a transformation? [closed]

In my story, my main character, a young man named Irian in an industrial human society, is captured, and transformed by merfolk into one of their kind (very standard merfolk, his legs are replaced ...
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2answers
69 views

How to maintain vivid description for recurring elements without repetition?

For my current project, the use of vivid description is essential for carrying across the particularly alien experience of the protagonist. This leads to a problem, however, when my protagonist needs ...
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2answers
122 views

How to write believable characters of professions I'm not familiar with?

I'm quite familiar with certain groups of people. In my career I often dealt with scientists, actors and artists. Therefore I'm quite confident describing such people in my stories. I am familiar with ...
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5answers
207 views

I want to explain something in a novel that shouldn’t exist in it

In my novel, the world is made entirely out of islands, but I don’t know how to explain this without using the word islands. In that world, there are only islands so they are just called countries. ...
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6answers
215 views

Is it bad if you start all your chapters with a description of the surroundings?

Is it bad if you start all your chapters with a description of the surroundings? I wrote 4 chapters and it looks terrible, because I always start in a room and I am just describing the room with the ...
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2answers
87 views

how do i write realistically as if i am being abused?

I can never think of anything other than the fact that being abused hurts because I can't relate to it .A little help please?
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3answers
173 views

How to describe races/ethnicities in setting where corresponding geographic locations do not exist?

In English, the common name for some racial or ethnic groups is a fairly neutral English word (e.g. white, black...). Others, however, are named only by reference to a geographic point of origin (e.g. ...
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3answers
119 views

How do I convey my character is of mixed European-Asian ancestry through description?

I have a protagonist who is biracial (mixed-race Caucasian-east Asian ancestry) living in the United States. I have a good idea of what their face and appearance looks like; they’re the kind of person ...
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5answers
163 views

How late is too late to describe a character?

I haven’t supplied much description of my main character, mainly because it didn’t come up naturally. Her parents are described, so you can get a basic idea, fair skin, light eyes—but I never list any ...
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1answer
38 views

What word could describe a person with integrity or the difference between a person with integrity and one without? [closed]

I am trying to get the perfect word to separate those having integrity and those who lack it. I am trying to describe someone who accepts full ownership for their choices even the more regrettable ...
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5answers
2k views

How do you describe things without making a list of characteristics?

Like my question above, I am mostly messing up at describing my character without making a huge list of words. It sucks to know that readers are now skipping over the description that tends to be ...
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2answers
150 views

How do you write pause in a dialogue without making it look flat?

At times in conversations, there are pauses for various reasons; in videos, the contexts of these pauses are clear because of the characters facial expression. But while writing, at first you can use ...
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2answers
97 views

In an action scene, what is it called when a flying/thrown object changes rotation quickly after hitting something?

I am writing an action scene in which a character is thrown/falls and while they are flying through the air either the top or bottom half of their body hits an immovable object mid air, causing them ...
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3answers
149 views

How to write a scene about a main character who is crying?

I am writing a scene in which I want to show how my MC is still weak and vulnerable. My character is emotionally strong, but I am not able to describe a scene where she is crying in a room alone, so ...
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3answers
119 views

Free Gallery of Human Faces [closed]

I am working on a comic book script right now. Nothing of my draft (except dialogues) will be read by readers; the only purpose of my draft is to narrate the story to my friend, the illustrator. ...
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3answers
136 views

How would a character with a certain personality react in a certain situation? [closed]

I'm at a point in my story where the main character(M17) was in a huge car crash. He'd been in an overturned vehicle for about 10 minutes and had sustained heavy damage. A few of his friends had come ...
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2answers
190 views

How to convey a character's race/ethnicity clearly but appropriately?

When describing a character I usually provide some indication of their race/ethnicity since a lot of my work has multiracial characters and I tend to use elements of ethnicity in characterization. ...
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4answers
805 views

How should you describe turning pages quickly? [closed]

I want to describe this action. How should I describe this action?
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3answers
129 views

How can I specify the speaker in the dialogue without repeating the hero's name?

Let's say my character is Alex, a young man and an actor. I'm describing a long dialogue of him and another person. I need to specify he is a person speaking quite often so the reader is not confused ...
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1answer
390 views

Should character descriptions be written in past or present tense?

My novel is written in past tense and I'm wondering if the description of my characters should be written in present or in past too, especially if my characters are part of a series and will be ...
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5answers
130 views

Describing symbols and glyphs succinctly and accurately

The system of writing in my work contains eight basic shapes that get a number of permutations each. One of my viewpoint characters is learning this system of writing for the first time, and I want to ...
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2answers
57 views

Does descriptive language in written fiction work as well as physical characterization in visual media?

Character design in visually oriented works (comic books, film, television) is often a useful shorthand for making characters stand out and be memorable in terms of their appearance. For example, ...
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2answers
119 views

How do I show a character is involved in Internet subculture without making them seem dated?

I have a character who one of their primary character quirks is supposed to be that they are very involved in Internet subculture. They're a programmer who spends a lot of their spare time on certain ...
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4answers
2k views

Dealing with annoying quirks: Long names

In the story I am currently writing, the culture has an obsession with unique names for each individual person. For some poor saps, this means ridiculously long, quintuple-hyphenated names. Of course, ...
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3answers
87 views

Continuous Description in Dance Story

So my character is a competitive dancer, and the competitions she attends are a heavy part of the story. I'm writing her second competition, and I realize that I'll have to describe the routine ...
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1answer
62 views

How can I describe a character who is black, but lighter-skinned?

So I have a character who's on the lighter shade for black and I want to describe her better: "Hi, Mama," An attractive curly-haired woman greets. Her honey brown eyes gaze around the ...
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1answer
60 views

How else to describe: in the mind's eye? (images that appear to the character in the midst of thinking)

Often, my characters will be thinking and flash, some image appears to guide their thought. An example: I promised her. No. You pinky swore. You swore you’ll drudge down to the library and study. She ...
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4answers
638 views

I’m trying to describe a character who broke his leg [duplicate]

I am a young author writing a fantasy series. I am re-writing a chapter that I wrote a few months ago because it’s an earlier one, and I didn’t really know what I was doing, so it sounded bad. Anyway, ...
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1answer
74 views

Describing suddenly remembering [closed]

How can you describe suddenly remembering something? For example: My MC suddenly remembers her purse, and feels relief when she feels it laying on her thighs. Maybe, “I froze. My purse.”
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2answers
9k views

Words use to describe racing heartbeat

I think that it is too simple just to use "my heart pounded." I prefer something a little bit more elaborated. What sentence can I use besides from "my heart pounded?" Maybe you ...
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1answer
85 views

How do I tastefully handle a female-to-male transforming character?

My character is a girl who is later revealed in my story to be under a curse that allows her to transform into an older man. She is sharing a body with a powerful male spirit who can take control and ...
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1answer
71 views

Can you be too detailed in fantasy writing?

I am wondering if there is such a thing as “too detailed” in writing. If yes, then I want to know if I am doing it. I will insert a descriptive paragraph from my own writing below. Its scaly head was ...
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5answers
1k views

How to clearly distinguish the settings of different scenes from each other, and make them "feel" different?

Background I've been working on doing nitty-gritty editor revisions of my detective novel in preparation for publishing, going over sentences and picking through details. In the course of the story, ...
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2answers
156 views

What are some examples of the "simple but vivid" description that Chekhov talks about in the quote below?

(The quote below is from one of Chekhov's letters to other Russian writer, Maxim Gorky.) Your nature descriptions are artistic; you are a true landscape painter. But your frequent personifications (...
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1answer
87 views

Resources to describe medieval clothing from different cultures?

I realise this may not be the best place for this question, but I'm not sure where else to ask. I'd like to describe specific clothing from various societies existing when feudalism was still around, ...
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7answers
921 views

Alternative to "it is commonly said"

I have a sentence I am trying to write that just doesn't feel right. It currently reads "It is commonly said that X, but the truth is that Y." The second part feels okay, but the first part feels like ...
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2answers
113 views

Are there any good alternatives to "a fire inside" of someone?

I'm trying to express the idea of a character undergoing a realisation, thus feeling an idea along the lines of a "fire being ignited inside of him". However, I was wondering, are there any better ...
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3answers
101 views

How can I describe an incredible release of power, realistically [closed]

In my writing, a goddess is removed from her position as a god and reduced to a human. (See my previous question) At the moment of the loss of power huge amounts of energy would be released into the ...
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2answers
156 views

Where to draw the line between bloody and purely repulsive?

Violence and gore are an integral part of my story. However, I can usually keep the focus on the emotions, and the reactions, rather than the description of the injury. My problem comes with one of ...
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1answer
107 views

How to Describe Topography

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 ...
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3answers
177 views

When you can't even draw a stick man...? (concept art)

Good day all. Hope the writing muses are with you all. I was wondering what helps you to imagine details in a scene? I can't say that I'm a detailed oriented person so what I find acceptable as a ...
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12answers
6k views

How do I define smells I have never experienced?

I am a lifelong writer, who was also born without an ability to smell. I have been trained to engage the reader by applying the five senses, or as many of the five as is practical without becoming ...

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