Questions tagged [description]

Painting a picture with a thousand words.

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2answers
124 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
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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 ...
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7answers
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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 ...
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0answers
56 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 ...
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1answer
65 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
865 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
69 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
88 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
139 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
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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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12answers
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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 ...
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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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11answers
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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 ...
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8answers
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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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3answers
155 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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2answers
103 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 ...
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2answers
217 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 ...
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1answer
102 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 ...
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4answers
415 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 ...
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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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3answers
2k 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 ...
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3answers
254 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
93 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
207 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 ...
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2answers
268 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
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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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3answers
103 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 ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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2answers
183 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, ...
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2answers
193 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
100 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. ...
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5answers
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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
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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
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1answer
93 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
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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 ...
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2answers
437 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 ...
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2answers
288 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
738 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?
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5answers
859 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 ...
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1answer
91 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 ...
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6answers
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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
702 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
141 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 ...
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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
143 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 ...
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4answers
78k 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.
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5answers
5k 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 ...

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