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Questions tagged [description]

Painting a picture with a thousand words.

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votes
1answer
57 views

The British equivalent of a 'Home run' in terms of describing a successful outcome

I am looking for some examples of the British equivalent of the American term 'Home run', originally relating to baseball but used to describe an overall successful and highly favourable result. All ...
6
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2answers
240 views

Should you write character description points in bulk or spread them out?

I've heard a lot of people saying they skip descriptions if they are written as one bulk list, but others say it's important that we let the reader know what the character looks like and include all ...
2
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3answers
100 views

Do we simplify descriptions when they sound weird? [closed]

The woman said as she pulled a small coin out of a small wallet ... The woman said as she pulled a small coin out of a small box she opened/used earlier. I am wondering if "opened" or "used" is ...
6
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3answers
1k views

Describing the taste of food

I’m asking about this not because I have a tendency to do so myself, but rather because I find it unusually aggravating when I come across it in other people’s works. I’m wondering if this sort of ...
1
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2answers
154 views

How to convey the anatomy of a humanoid race? [closed]

I am writing a extra-terrestrial high fantasy novel. The story is completely set in an alien world. No visits from Earth and no visits to Earth. My characters are humanoids, who look like elves, ...
18
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7answers
2k views

Detail vs. filler

How can I minimise the "filler" text that I end up writing when fleshing out a scene with detail? An appropriate level of detail seems to me to be a fundamental requirement for good prose. Whatever I ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

How to realistically describe pain?

So, I was doing a writing excersie, I came up with, to help me with sentence structuring and developing my style. One thing, I ran into, however, was that I couldn't describe pain very well. The ...
4
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4answers
92 views

How to eliminate standoff between “Lengthy” vs “Concision”?

Often while writing a software requirement/change-request documentation, I need to include the quoted requirements descriptively, the impacted modules, the changes provided both in UI and in logic. ...
1
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2answers
95 views

How do we end a description properly?

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 ...
18
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5answers
2k views

Spicing up a moment of peace

In the ever swinging tone of a novel, one may wish to show a moment of peace amidst all the chaos. In my novel it happens a few times, most notably when characters are travelling across vast natural ...
8
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3answers
1k views

Is this kind of description not recommended?

I think I read somewhere that when writing, you shouldn't describe characters by their characteristics i.e. The tall man walked across the room Is this true? Maybe I'm misremembering
4
votes
1answer
81 views

A pulse, a throb, and a beat

I wrote a passage where one of my characters heard beats, (i.e., the sound) then he found the beating object and, when he held it in his hand, it started throbbing like a heart, (i.e., the feeling). ...
4
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2answers
393 views

Describing weighing an object in hand [closed]

A person holds a stone object in one hand. They throw it up and down in the air, in that hand, a few times, to judge the weight/feel/impact of the object. Does this particular physical action have ...
3
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2answers
284 views

Job description for my employment reference

I've canceled my job to move on. Now I was asked how I want my Job description for my employment reference. My first draft was one full page... This is too much. Now I've reduced the long version to ...
-1
votes
2answers
54 views

geographic description of coastal rock formation [closed]

Hello masters of geographic eloquence, A rock arch bridges across to a rock formation seen in the screen right of the image/photograph. It's not an independent 'island'. What word(s) best describe ...
8
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6answers
717 views

Building a scene and readability

When building a scene at the beginning of a chapter for instance, before character interactions take place, what are the important elements to consider, and how long should the description be, before ...
2
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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 ...
18
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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?
4
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5answers
817 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
57 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
115 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 ...
12
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9answers
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
203 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
votes
5answers
7k 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
votes
1answer
90 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
votes
2answers
178 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
200 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?
16
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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
votes
3answers
198 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
votes
1answer
72 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
vote
2answers
224 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
115 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
votes
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
110 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
3k 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
votes
4answers
518 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
14k 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
66 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
390 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
625 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
votes
3answers
360 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
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
222 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
vote
2answers
64 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.