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Questions tagged [description]

Painting a picture with a thousand words.

5
votes
3answers
70 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
votes
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
votes
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 ...
-2
votes
4answers
400 views

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

And this question to ask how do you describe somebody who is black and got many great answers. Describing mixed races in this way would be too broad. How do I express some one as a black person? ...
15
votes
14answers
10k 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
votes
1answer
49 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
votes
3answers
337 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
95 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
votes
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
votes
3answers
325 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
votes
1answer
47 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
80 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
votes
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
vote
2answers
41 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
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
17
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
votes
11answers
7k 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
votes
4answers
101 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
votes
1answer
59 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
votes
2answers
72 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
votes
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
70 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
votes
2answers
117 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
votes
4answers
187 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
votes
2answers
58 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
votes
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
votes
3answers
105 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
votes
1answer
48 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
votes
1answer
57 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
143 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
215 views

Phrasing to balance immense speed with boredom

Through much of my novel the protagonist spends considerable time cruising over various landscapes at speeds exceeding 500 km/h. To you or me this is significant but to the character, it's "just a job....
0
votes
3answers
166 views

How much realism do I put into a war simulation story for Young Adults?

I am writing an action/thriller light novel for YA audience. The story involves characters "playing" in a war-simulation game in an extremely realistic and full immersive Virtual Reality. By "full ...
22
votes
11answers
7k views

How can I make a character who isn't a jerk seem like one?

I have an MC who, because of certain circumstances, everyone sees him as harsh and cruel at first. As they get to know him through the first few chapters, they eventually see he's nicer than they ...
7
votes
8answers
424 views

How do I draw attention to a girl's chest without making it overly lewd?

So, I have a group of main characters, and the current viewpoint character is going to introduce a... very well-endowed character. How do I write this so that I get the point across that she's that ...
1
vote
3answers
101 views

How to describe a character without dialogue?

I have a slave who is not sure if she's allowed to speak at the moment, and I want to introduce her owner. How can I do it without bogging it down with an essay on him?
17
votes
7answers
3k views

Facial expressions as part of dialogue - getting rid of a verbal tic

I noticed a verbal tic in my writing: He looked surprised He looked confused He looked abashed Sometimes twice in a row: The prince looked abashed. “I- I thought I was being polite,” ...
21
votes
6answers
3k views

How long should I mention an injured character’s pain?

My main character gets shot and survives. One thing that bothers me is a character who is injured and keeps going like the energizer bunny. I try to set up for a rapid recovery, mentioning training ...
0
votes
5answers
280 views

How do i properly name a fictional species and describe it?

I'm currently developing a fictional species set in a fantasy world, and I want to name it, but I don't want it to sound too... scientific? For example, our scientific name is Homo sapiens, but we don'...
0
votes
2answers
62 views

How to describe movement in zero-G?

Within the setting of my personal project (a hard science fiction) I need to be able to describe movement in zero-G extensively. Because I wish to write a whole narrative involving very little ...
20
votes
6answers
4k views

How to give cartography information in a fantasy setting without being too precise?

I'm writing a fantasy story set in an imaginary world. For the first time, I'm giving geographical information and... I don't really know how to give it, actually. My alpha reader told me it was hard ...
1
vote
1answer
89 views

How to deal with Infalliable Narrator issue?

So, what I'm writing is a novel where I'm the narrator who describes life events of my another self. The whole story revolves around this character. This page contains the following passage in the ...
0
votes
2answers
116 views

Difference between a descriptive essay and a narrative essay?

Okay, so here's my problem: I am trying to write an essay from a prompt that uses the word "describe", but what I'm being asked to describe is not a single person or object, rather it's more broadly a ...
3
votes
3answers
198 views

In what order should I name characters?

I was wondering if there is a rule or advice in which order to name my characters. For example, if I want to tell that Bob, John and Rob entered the room should I just name them in random order or ...
2
votes
2answers
98 views

Providing context without getting lost in Description

I think one of the challenges I have faced the most often in writing books has been where to start. I tend to do a lot of flash forwards to jump into the action and follow it up with a chapter or two ...
5
votes
1answer
101 views

How do I write the names of letters in a book?

I have a situation where I am trying to explain a company logo that is flashing in propaganda. Let us say the logo is an "M" overlaying a "Y," how would I write that? I would think one would write, "...
15
votes
6answers
4k views

When is a lack of long, sophisticated words to describe an otherwise simple concept bad?

Reading books of Dan Brown and that sort (pardon my inability to produce any other relevant examples off the top of my head) gives off the impression to budding writers that novels need to have a ...
5
votes
4answers
385 views

Best way to write chilling, short thriller/horror without getting gory in a natural setting?

What are the tricks to writing short, chilling stories that don't resort to blood or cliched monsters, in a setting in nature of hunter/hunted? EDIT: While this edit isn't meant to invalidate any of ...
8
votes
4answers
220 views

How to describe something, that would normally be shown by facial expressions?

When I think of a scene, I often think of little hints or gestures, to express certain things or thought processes. For example a character breaking eye contact, but quickly looking back to not show ...
40
votes
7answers
5k views

How often should I remind my readers of the setting?

My story takes place in a city during a hard winter: streets are covered with snow, the wind is blowing, the river is frozen. I describe all the setting in the very first scene. My character leaves ...
9
votes
3answers
961 views

Sensory Information Overload

I'm reading The Book of Human Emotions by Tiffany Watt Smith (good stuff if you want to inform the use of emotion in your writing), and I've just come across Overwhelmed (feeling). It talks about the ...