Questions tagged [description]

Painting a picture with a thousand words.

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14
votes
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, ...
0
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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 ...
0
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2answers
134 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 (...
0
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1answer
69 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
868 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 ...
1
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2answers
72 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 ...
0
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3answers
89 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 ...
-1
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2answers
140 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
53 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 ...
4
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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 ...
26
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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 ...
4
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2answers
223 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 ...
3
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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 ...
0
votes
1answer
105 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
418 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 ...
1
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3answers
259 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
110 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
210 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
270 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
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 ...
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 ...
1
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2answers
185 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 ...
6
votes
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 ...
4
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4answers
102 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
243 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
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). ...
4
votes
2answers
457 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
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 ...
-1
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2answers
57 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
740 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
votes
5answers
866 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
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 ...
18
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6answers
6k 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
153 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
209 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
9k 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 ...
3
votes
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 ...
36
votes
10answers
9k 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
186 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
242 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
280 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
75 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 ...

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