Questions tagged [description]

Painting a picture with a thousand words.

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votes
0answers
51 views

Describing someone in present tense and using had [closed]

In my novel I am writing a scene where I am trying to describe a character. In the scene, he is a white male, 35 years old, with rich parents. He is an alpha male and I am trying to make him dress ...
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3answers
218 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 ...
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2answers
49 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 ...
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2answers
190 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
260 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 ...
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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
101 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
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 ...
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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 ...
1
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2answers
163 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, ...
5
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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 ...
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7answers
7k 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 ...
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2answers
103 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 ...
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4answers
93 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. ...
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 ...
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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
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1answer
86 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). ...
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2answers
56 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 ...
4
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2answers
402 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
286 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 ...
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6answers
721 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 ...
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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 ...
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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
833 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
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1answer
60 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 "...
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4answers
537 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 ...
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4answers
138 views

Should I name specific artists?

I'm currently describing a scene of a girl listening to music. My question is, should I say what singer is she listening to? Or I better skip that part and and say something like "she sat on her bed ...
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 ...
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1answer
117 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 ...
7
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4answers
60k views

How can I describe nervousness?

Becoming nervous in the heat of a situation. Perhaps you witnessed something not for the faint of heart. Like, how would I describe shaky legs without being so boring about it.
4
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5answers
4k views

How do I realistically describe using a whip?

I'm writing a character who is going to be using a whip. While the scenario is clear in my mind, whenever I try to describe the character's usage of the whip while fighting, the only thing I can come ...
18
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6answers
3k views

How to express martial arts action in fiction?

In the context of an actual as opposed to training fight scene in a fictional narrative, how would one express martial arts action? Generally, martial arts has a distinctive disciplined but powerful ...
11
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9answers
2k views

Where to find some good examples of combat or action scenes?

I always learn a lot about about writing by reading other works and following their examples. Right now I'm very bad at writing action scenes; the best I can do is write around them, describing the ...
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2answers
469 views

Am I just a coward, or will my reader be a coward too?

So I was trying to write about creatures that would vomit maggots, and then a different creature would lick it back up and vomit it out again to keep the meal going around. There was loads of maggots ...
2
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3answers
206 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
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 ...
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2answers
236 views

How to help reader visualize the environment in a story?

In a story where there is only one character doesn't talk to anyone don't know where he is and is narrating his story
3
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1answer
91 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 ...
6
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3answers
179 views

How to describe a seemingly-random doodle/symbol, whose details are significant?

In my Crime/Mystery/Drama screenplay, there’s a seemingly random doodle at the bottom of a mysterious note. The random doodle looks like a three eyed stick man with a hat. It is drawn with only lines ...
8
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6answers
3k 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,...
3
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3answers
230 views

How far I should describe an alien invader character that has similar appearance to human?

I'm starting to write a sci-fi story where the alien invaders will have slightly similar looks and anatomy as humans. I mean they are still imaginative characters but I wonder how I can develop those ...
3
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0answers
48 views

Describing something I've never been through [duplicate]

I have this young character who grows up to be very strong and powerful but while he was young he was still discovering how strong he was. This incident happened to a friend he's protective of. He ...
9
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3answers
342 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 ...
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5answers
5k views

Pregnancy in writing - A bit difficult

In one of my stories, I have a chapter that is all about a woman's first pregnancy and her experience. It is a fictional woman but still, because my writing tends to be on the scientific side of ...
3
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2answers
184 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 ...
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
219 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 ...
15
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7answers
4k 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,...