Questions tagged [description]

Painting a picture with a thousand words.

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4
votes
3answers
106 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
104 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 ...
0
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0answers
8 views

Describing something by a characteristic that's plainly obvious [migrated]

I'm wondering if there's a definition for phrases like: The Green apple is Green Some optional options are optional Silly people are Silly We visited the museum, where we saw museum artefacts. Where ...
2
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2answers
102 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 ...
20
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8answers
13k 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 ...
4
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2answers
36 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 ...
6
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3answers
2k 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 ...
0
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2answers
45 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, ...
1
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1answer
302 views

Where to put a description of characters that have a uniform?

In my novel, the protagonist starts out as a runaway slave, and I want to point out to the reader that she is avoiding those who are in charge of slaves who all wear a uniform involving a blue shirt ...
3
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2answers
106 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 ...
12
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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, ...
3
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3answers
83 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 ...
4
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1answer
52 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 ...
14
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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, ...
1
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1answer
53 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 ...
9
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7answers
5k views

Writing about extreme trauma

I've just written a chapter in which one of my protagonists witnesses her entire family massacred during an invasion of her home city. This is obviously an extremely traumatic and horrifying event and,...
5
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2answers
72 views

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

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, ...
-1
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1answer
73 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.”
9
votes
9answers
1k 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 ...
6
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3answers
789 views

How do I describe an accidental kiss between the two main characters that is romantic as well as regretful?

How do I describe an accidental kiss between the two main characters? I want to make it so they got caught up in the situation and that both of them apologise to each other after that, like a kiss ...
1
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1answer
70 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 ...
0
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1answer
65 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 ...
17
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12answers
7k 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 ...
9
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3answers
614 views

How to write about what you don't know?

I am a strong believer in writing what you know. Everything I write is at least partially based on something that I have experienced. My problem is that for plot reasons, I need one of my characters ...
17
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8answers
5k views

How to show a brief hesitation around a word

When we speak, there are often small pauses between syntactic units such as sentences. In writing, these pauses are signified by punctuation: I can come if you want. (without pause) I can come, if ...
0
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2answers
145 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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16answers
29k 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 ...
21
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7answers
8k views

How much detail is too much?

I've read a few amateur stories online and sometimes the author will include so much detail that the reader gets a little bored or distracted and forgets what the actual story is talking about. How do ...
0
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0answers
57 views

Cons of Extensive Detailing [duplicate]

Every time I start a story, I create the scene in my mind. I'm pretty sure others would be able to write it in 2000 words. However, once I start writing, I detail every scene way too much and the end ...
0
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1answer
74 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, ...
4
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7answers
876 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
90 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 ...
1
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3answers
98 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 ...
0
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2answers
151 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 ...
0
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1answer
70 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 ...
22
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12answers
8k 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 ...
27
votes
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 ...
17
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11answers
4k 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 ...
4
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3answers
169 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 ...
3
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2answers
117 views

How Do I Define Smells Of A World With Anosmia? [duplicate]

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
251 views

Describing shapes and objects

While I absolutely agree, that descriptions should be experienced through the narrator's / protagonist's eyes in terms of personal involvement, I oftentimes find myself puzzled in describing the basic ...
1
vote
1answer
109 views

How to write mishearing/mispronouncing without lying to the reader?

Sometimes the plot requires communication to partially break down between characters. A misheard or mispronounced word can have great consequences, after all. Often people aren't even aware it ...
1
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4answers
434 views

How do I describe something vividly without being purple?

I feel that the following example from Rosa Luxemburg is good at describing my goal. Despite using "complicated" words it doesn't come off as pretentious or edgy, but it still manages to give off the ...
6
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4answers
3k 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 ...
1
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3answers
3k 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 ...
1
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3answers
290 views

I abstain from using concise words in my writing, so as to “show” instead of “tell”. Is this bad writing?

Instead of explaining this whole practice, I'll rather give an example. In a scene in my book, there is this character. This character is pompous and arrogant. I describe their gait shortly after ...
1
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2answers
179 views

Setting exposition vs scene descriptions

If my main character goes to a new building – let's say in the beggining of a short story – and I describe the facade and the design of the building, is this exposition (i.e. information that is not ...
0
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2answers
214 views

Can overwriting be made to look intentional from a first-person narrative?

I am an aspiring author, trying to get my 80,000-word traditionally published, though I will self-publish it if that doesn't work out. this article suggests that we avoid it altogether. I've used ...
6
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2answers
292 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 ...
12
votes
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 ...

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