Questions tagged [description]

Painting a picture with a thousand words.

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6
votes
2answers
204 views

How to describe 4 main characters at once without overloading the reader with information?

My main characters first appear in the book all at once. How do write their descriptions so that the reader isn't overloaded with so much information all at once?
5
votes
4answers
241 views

How to avoid repetitive sentences? (Describing actions, he/she)

I was just wondering if anybody had some tips on how to avoid repetitively describing characters' actions in the same way? Here is an example which I'm struggling to reform, mostly because I keep ...
10
votes
5answers
3k views

How to avoid pages of dialogue?

I'm starting my story with my protagonist found (by the police), bleeding at a crime scene. When he wakes up, he has no recollection i.e. he's lost his memory. He's interrogated by two Inspectors, ...
8
votes
7answers
1k views

How specific should descriptions of settings/appearances be?

Some people tell me there are not enough descriptions in my book, some say there are too much. How do you know how much detail is enough? Is there like a rule of thumb for these things? Do I leave ...
10
votes
4answers
6k views

Is shaking of the head positive or negative?

When you say a character shook their head, does that mean they nodded, as in "yes", or they shook it sideways, signifying the answer is "no?"
38
votes
8answers
3k views

When is it okay to “tell”, instead of “show”?

One of the major mantras of writing fiction is "show, don't tell". Is it ever okay to tell? When?
1
vote
3answers
281 views

What is the best description for this particular kind of building (and apartment arrangement - Central European style of building)?

I'm looking for the word to describe of a particular type of apartment building. I attached a picture to illustrate it. It is a building that has several apartments on each story with an exterior ...
14
votes
6answers
4k views

Should I repeat character descriptions if a character reappears the second time too far into the story?

Should I repeat character descriptions if a minor character reappears the second time too far into the story? For example, I have a minor character who is introduced and has a bit of involvement at ...
15
votes
5answers
13k views

How to describe a female character's figure without comedy?

Do you know a good way to describe a female character's figure? I'm writing a fairly serious story, but the only way I know how to describe this is from comedy stories, where they work out some joke ...
3
votes
5answers
372 views

Details: How do you describe a character's clothing in a story?

I'm writing a story and I need to describe the character's appearance. My character is wearing a football jersey and running on the field, so how can I describe this better? This is what I came up ...
9
votes
7answers
7k views

In what order should I describe a setting?

For instance I'm describing the park of an art museum in a foggy day. I'm not sure if I should start with the fog, wind, grass, threes, walking paths, buildings, stairs or something else. Is there a ...
2
votes
2answers
747 views

Should I use he, she, or it when referring to a bird as a metaphor for my cell phone?

I'm writing a descriptive essay about a bird, which is a metaphor of my cell phone. So far, I have been using the pronoun "it" when describing the bird/cell phone; however, it feels awkward as the ...
2
votes
3answers
4k views

What are ways to describe feelings of fear?

What are some ways to write feelings of fear, such as: losing a loved one, almost dying, getting lost, getting yelled at by your overprotective mother and almost losing someone close to you. I ...
4
votes
5answers
469 views

How can I learn the name of a colour to use in a description?

I am trying to describe this character: Source Her attire is pretty easy to describe, Purple and Gold (while it looks yellow she addresses herself with majestic plural, so gold would be more fitting)...
6
votes
2answers
169 views

Sentence openings variations to avoid repeating determiners and pronounces

I have a question regarding sentence openings in English language. When I write most of my sentences start with determiners and pronouns (personal and posessive). This gets repetative quickly. For ...
39
votes
12answers
9k views

How can I explain my world if the character is technologically not yet capable of understanding it?

One feature of my world is a plant that lives in a magmaous (rather than "volcanic") cave. It photosynthesizes by absorbing infrared radiation from the magma. However, the world is roughly at a ...
14
votes
6answers
3k views

Should I use the real name or attempt to describe?

I'm writing a story in a fantasy setting, where there are characters who dress with ancient Egyptian type clothing - such as haram pant and usekh collars. Since the story is a fantasy and not set in ...
2
votes
5answers
2k views

What are good words to refer to the condition of objects?

In RPG games objects such as weapons or armor have a certain durability represented by a number. For example a sword has 100/100 Durability. After it becomes 0/100 it means the object is broken. I ...
2
votes
5answers
1k views

How to describe a scene from imagination?

I'm writing my very first short story. a romantic fantasy, and sometimes when I try to describe the actions of characters, their body movements and hand gestures, and their eyes and facial expressions,...
2
votes
1answer
90 views

Idioms in historical fiction?

I am writing a World War II novel from the POV of a German colonel (among others). In the case of the colonel, is it appropriate to use the English idiom "top brass" in his internal dialogue? To me, ...
2
votes
1answer
194 views

What's the name of this gesture? [closed]

Imagine yourself driving a car and and spotting someone on the sidewalk. You stop the car beside him and want him to get in the backseat. You say something like "Hey, get in." with a nod of ...
2
votes
3answers
145 views

Is it okay to sum up unimportant dialogue in the description? Let me explain

Like many, I’m a huge fan of the HBO series True Detective. I was reading the script for the second episode and I noticed this: INT. STATE CID - NIGHT Hart and Cohle enter the squad room, ...
4
votes
4answers
705 views

Is there any resource available listing words for facial expressions?

Describing the faces that people are making during a conversation can be difficult. He nodded, she pursed her lips -- those are easy, but I'm talking about the more subtle expressions. In the case ...
1
vote
4answers
3k views

How much dialogue in a first date scene?

Something I always get stuck with is how to describe a first date. E.g. I have a story where 2 characters are on a blind date, so they have to get to know each other. How much of the date should be ...
15
votes
10answers
4k views

How to refer to clothes without modern words ? (e.g: t-shirt)

This is a constant struggling point of mine. Most of my settings take place in fictional worlds often inspired by various parts of human history. For instance, one of my stories is located in an ...
10
votes
6answers
2k views

When writing down a huge amounts of detail is inevitable

In hard-SF the writer has to adapt to the world and its limitation. Under normal circumstances, this shouldn't a problem, as you can always make something great, even with the limitations. However, ...
2
votes
1answer
288 views

Trying to regain writing skills I lost after a writing hiatus [closed]

Edit: I'm confused what I need to ask so this question can be taken off hold. I'm looking for help on writing descriptive language. (it no longer flows freely in my mind like it did in the past.) ...
3
votes
6answers
2k views

Sounds: how to describe them?

How do I describe the sound of a low growl in a low technological culture context? All that comes to mind as possible descriptions are the sounds of rolling logs, or the wheels of a wagon. Note: ...
2
votes
3answers
5k views

How to describe guns to someone who has never seen them before

In my story, a mysterious visitor presents the characters with a new weapon: guns. These people have never seen anything like it, as gunpowder has been discovered but not really used to its full ...
1
vote
2answers
200 views

Is the following analogy of natural selection effective and clear?

I'm writing a scene where one of the characters is explaining the process of natural selection: “Think of it as a beach full of crab holes of various shapes and sizes, and with little pebbles on ...
23
votes
10answers
7k views

Should I defend my character's appearance?

I'm in talks with a publisher about my comic book. In it, the main character is a hunter who hunts monsters, but in a way inspired by how real hunters hunt. My editor suggests that the character wears ...
12
votes
6answers
5k views

What information about a fictional world is unnecessary?

I was able to gain some insight already thanks to How much detail is too much?, but I still need a more precise answer, because my details aren't bound to a particular scene. I was searching for some ...
8
votes
6answers
7k views

How to introduce a world that's alien to the reader

I'm writing sort of a space-opera and I was wondering what would the best way to explain everything about the world to my readers. The story is kind of a political intrigue, and it would be very easy ...
4
votes
5answers
565 views

How can I improve this description which includes actions?

This is the beginning of a short story I'm writing (I'm not a native English speaker): I was lying in the dark, looking at the ceiling, counting spider webs. She was lying right beside me. I ...
5
votes
4answers
288 views

Describing a sport in a fantasy setting

In one scene in my YA fantasy my characters are at a party on a beach. One piece of the setting is a group of teenagers playing a game, which my main characters later join. The game itself is not the ...
3
votes
4answers
4k views

What elements should be included in a story's setting?

I know this will vary depending on the type of the story and the characters involved, not to mention the location itself. What I am looking for is some kind of guideline for identifying different ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

How to describe a husky, low, sinister voice? [closed]

Hello! While I was writing for my fantasy novel, I was stuck on how to describe a very scratchy and low, but malicious voice for a grim reaper kind of like ghost in my story. The voice I'm trying to ...
1
vote
1answer
169 views

How do I describe this particular scene?

My character lives in a war torn country. I'm trying to start this short story with him waking up on his way to school (possibly the bus stop). On his way, he sees graffiti, vandalism (basically ...
2
votes
2answers
221 views

How to present a human protagonist from a narrator who does not know what a human is?

My protagonist is an average human as we know it in a world populated by different animal-like species. The narrator (different character) is a member of a species that resemble polar bears. As far as ...
9
votes
7answers
10k views

Is it important to describe how the characters are dressed?

One thing that I never mention in my stories is how the characters are dressed. Well, except when they are being described for the first time, when the main character first meets them. How important ...
0
votes
2answers
3k views

How would I explain the atmosphere in the current scene? [closed]

I would like to find other description of the atmosphere of a scene rather than just using the word 'tense.' Instead of writing, "The atmosphere between Bill and Bob is tense." What other ways would ...
0
votes
4answers
222 views

Writing differently when following different character POVs - mainly age difference. (3rd Person)

I'm writing a sci-fi novel with more than one main character. Since I'm not an experienced writer, I still struggle with some basic "rules" within writing that may or may not exist. This issue is ...
2
votes
2answers
339 views

Active voice in situations where the subject is unknown

In a situation where a POV character isn't lucid enough to see or interpret what's going on around them, I find myself constantly describing things either in passive voice, or by using the word '...
3
votes
2answers
232 views

How to describe generic once-off characters?

What are some good tips or ways to describe a character in a story that plays no significant role, and only appears for that particular moment in the chapter and never again for the rest of the story? ...
2
votes
2answers
150 views

What is a good ratio of description/action to talking?

Background I probably am wording this badly and that's why when I searched the site I didn't get an answer. So I was wondering, because the recent totally epic chapter of my masterpiece novel ...
0
votes
2answers
224 views

Is it best to make a description metaphorical, or upfront?

Background I've had this question for a really long time. A lot of my work seems quite 'floaty' and 'old style' because I describe things in a very metaphorical and surreal way. For example: Her ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

Ways of describing new characters?

What are some good ways to describe the looks of a new character presented in a story? I generally mention eye and hair color, physical build and maybe if they have facial hair or not. But to me it ...
1
vote
2answers
489 views

How to describe a character when writing in First Person [duplicate]

Can someone give me ideas to describe my POV character to my reader when I am writing in First Person. I ask this because it's unnatural for a character to describe their appearance in their mind. I ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

How to stop viewing your story as a film

When thinking about scenes and story ideas, I can't help but picture something playing out as a movie. It's so much easier to picture someone moving and doing things than to actually describe what ...
1
vote
1answer
395 views

Which makes better sense? [closed]

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