Questions tagged [description]

Painting a picture with a thousand words.

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6
votes
4answers
1k views

How can I describe technology while avoiding problems with scaling?

Worldbuilding chat has pointed me to this stack because it's less about defining the technology and more about how to express these definitions in a relatable and realistic way. A pretty frequent ...
1
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1answer
128 views

How to add a new word to the dictionary

Background Okay, so I've decided now is my personal time to shine! I have thought of a great new word, and want to add it to the dictionary. Theoretically, if enough people read my book and see this ...
2
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2answers
122 views

Who are the most instructive authors to read to improve one's description skills? [closed]

Are there any authors who went down in history as "masters of descriptions" (either of characters or of locations) or similar? Of course, there are many different aspects one can use to regard a ...
3
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3answers
300 views

Do Epic Fantasy and Sci-Fi books have inherently more descriptive language?

For example the book Eragon by Paolini, and Magic Kingdom by Terry Brooks. These both have lots of description. To me that means lots of showing and less telling. Other books don't seem to have ...
6
votes
4answers
343 views

How do you use showing in animal fantasy?

When I read showing in stories with people, they describe facial expressions for showing (among other things). What can a writer use in an animal fantasy? I'm sure it depends on the animal, but ...
4
votes
2answers
100 views

Need resources to assist with describing ordinary things

When writing I've found that I have trouble describing ordinary things. For instance if I want to describe a chair I'll spend lots of time hunting down resources like this, using google searches like '...
2
votes
2answers
467 views

Inventing a fictional town in a real geographic location

So, I'm nearing the conclusion of a novel, and I just realized that 70,000 words in, I've never told the readers where the characters live. Now, this is may seem like a rather trivial detail, and if ...
2
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2answers
258 views

Succinctly indicate that an emotional hug is not sexual

I'm working on one of the final scenes of my novel. The President is a kind, intelligent, fatherly man. Sara is a high-ranking NSA official and has been through months of intense pressure that has ...
5
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2answers
1k views

How to develop a more vivid and descriptive writing style

One of the problem areas that I face while writing my novel is that I often get stuck when writing descriptions. I do well when writing action sequences, when writing dialogues, when showing character ...
4
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2answers
920 views

Avoiding -ly Words

"I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs," said Stephen King. He went on to explain that they should be used sparingly, not as a crutch to avoid writing a more descriptive sentence. ...
1
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3answers
192 views

Description of “Unimportant” Details

People advise to keep description to a minimum, or to make it worthwhile to the audience. I'm talking about description that isn't really necessary/important to the plot but is necessary/important to ...
1
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1answer
150 views

How do I portray a particular moment as climactic?

It's a first person novel, and the main character has just overcome some emotional and mental barriers in order to unlock his telekinetic potential, under the training of his mentor. “Do it, ...
2
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1answer
1k views

How to describe the flow of an hourglass [closed]

I'm thinking of somewhat of a poetic way to describe how time flows, via an hourglass. Does sand simply 'flow' through an hourglass? Drip doesn't sound applicable, and 'stream' is just basically flow. ...
1
vote
1answer
205 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 ...
1
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4answers
515 views

How do I convey messages that are clear, but unspoken?

So much of communication is nonverbal - facial expressions, body language. Often, it's entirely clear what somebody is thinking and conveying even if they aren't saying a word. How can I portray this ...
7
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2answers
400 views

How do I get rid of overused words in my story?

I did a word frequency analysis on my story. Unsurprisingly, the most over-used words often corresponded to passages where I was lazy with my description. I'm tackling my over-used words "laughed" ...
15
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4answers
4k views

Confusing writing in order to show how character is falling asleep - is it OK?

Generally, writing something confusing is not good. On the other hand, a writer should show rather than tell. (Generally.) What I'm trying to do is imitate the way one's thoughts get all muddled ...
0
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1answer
109 views

Do you capitalize the names of governments in a story?

I know that names of countries, states, cities, and counties are always capitalized, but what about governments and organizations? In my novella there are basically 2 sections of space, and each have ...
1
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4answers
3k views

How do i describe a vampire from the perspective of someone who has no idea what they are?

The concept of my story is that i would rewrite the story of the first ever vampire in a medieval setting, and from two perspectives, one from the vampire's friend and brothers in arms, and the other ...
3
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2answers
275 views

How to write a scene that needs a lot of detail without falling into purple prose?

I understand the "only describe what is necessary" rule. If a character's appearance is important, I'll describe it in moderation. But what if I'm writing a scene that needs a lot of description? What ...
1
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2answers
106 views

Description: How to apply an adjective to a list of nouns without seeming redundant?

For example, in the case of this sentence: I drove past the empty stables and servant's quarters, and after another quarter mile I entered a very large circular driveway. Is it implied that ...
4
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5answers
4k views

Who can help me to describe the text line from my story in slow motion?

This here is a line of my story: As we were in the middle of our conversation, I saw a blinding light heading straight for us, followed by an abrupt honk. Mom screamed as if she saw a ghost, and ...
1
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3answers
167 views

Whether to describe personality of a character or let the readers deduce it based on the actions

I am facing this situation where description of the personality of a character is quite important. Is it good to describe the personality traits or shall I let the readers deduce it based on the ...
8
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3answers
4k views

How to describe a diverse set of characters without falling into purple prose or exoticism?

In my setting, a city was founded by people from all over the world, and developed in almost complete isolation (long version here). The story in itself starts several generations after the foundation....
1
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3answers
82 views

Scene descriptons?

If one is describing a gala ball, what level of detail of the room is considered appropriate? For example, if the ball is a lavish one, is it appropriate to include the table settings (conical red ...
0
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3answers
2k views

How do you describe someone approaching and calling out at the same time without using different font sizes?

So i have this As Fate's worry grew and grew something drew her attention to a moving star in the sky. it's light got bigger and appeared to be falling to her "Feeeeeeeeiiiiiiiiitoooooooooooooo-...
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2answers
125 views

Describing the differences between languages

To help create descriptive differences in the way my characters talk I am looking for a list of how each language sounds. For example the German language has lots of clusters of consonants, and could ...
0
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2answers
108 views

Should one Infodump the reader when a new environment of a fictional world is introduced? [duplicate]

When a writen story is set in a fiction world or when a character changes locals to an environment that may be vastly different to what was introduce/what they would know from real life (ie. going ...
2
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3answers
934 views

Can you specify camera angles in your screenplay?

So I guess camera action is up to the director. Would I ever be allowed to pan if it is important? Would I not be able to pick certain angles? If I can, what would be the best way to specify --for ...
2
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5answers
276 views

How do I avoid tradeoffs with showing vs. telling? [closed]

I learned early on (as most writers have) "show, don't tell," which I agree with for the most part. However, I've found many situations in writing when I'd start to write a statement in tell, catch ...
1
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4answers
2k views

Different ways to say “I looked”?

I find myself overusing phrases like "his eyes flickered to (object/person)" and "he shifted his gaze to (object/person)". I use the words 'eyes' and 'gaze' a lot to describe what the character is ...
4
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5answers
5k views

How to describe people from the 'eyes' of a blind person?

I am currently working on a fantasy novel that is set in medieval times. I created my world, started to write, and then bumped into a big problem. My MC is blind (along with others of its race) and I ...
9
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9answers
4k views

How do I write about nerdy concepts without sounding like a tryhard?

How would one express nerdy gobbledygook without sounding like a technical tryhard? For instance, if I were to explain the backstory of something and it perhaps contained the word electromagnetic or ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

Help describing dogs' physical appearance and movement

I'm writing a story about a group of dogs, mongrels mostly. I would like help finding the correct vocabulary to describe their physical appearance. Remember that, been mongrels, I can't say simply "he ...
2
votes
1answer
968 views

How do I write in the language of a strict, serious character without using too much exposition?

I am working on a series of short stories and am having trouble bringing out the characteristics of one of my characters in descriptions and in his dialogue. My story is set in South Korea. One ...
3
votes
2answers
384 views

First conversation scenes I've written (looking for errors, conventions, and improvements according to writing standards)

I would like to know if I'm doing something wrong (according to writing standards) in the following conversation and how to improve it to help readability, quality and feeling (making it more ...
1
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2answers
1k views

Chopped sentences with too many conjunction, and repeating the subject again and again

I have tendency to write chopped sentences with too many conjunctions, repeating the subject again and again. I don't want that but I'm not skilled in English. For example how do write the following ...
3
votes
2answers
315 views

How Can I Effectively Develop Fictional Characters

So, I'm trying my own attempt at writing and I keep having trouble with developing my characters. Are there any effective methods of developing fictional characters? It can just be a small idea or ...
2
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3answers
237 views

How to «show» an irrelevant detail without expressively «tell»?

Here is the environment of my short story: the adaptation of film noir into literature. The characters in the story are David Lynch's Rabbits and I can't find how to introduce them. In the David Lynch ...
0
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3answers
3k views

Why do writers sometimes use so much description?

Why do many writers use a lot of description when presenting a character or a scene? Is this a writing tradition? Many characters in a book have been described in minute detail , in some ways ...
7
votes
2answers
193 views

Any helpful tips on how to, better use description in my writing?

I feel as if, the novel I am writing will have a great plot and I have some creative ideas on where to go with it. My only concern is my ability to develop description through out my story. Any tips ...
3
votes
1answer
234 views

Repeating the appearance of the main character in every book

I don't know if this just happens to be a thing that's common in the books I read as a kid, but there was always that bit, in the beginning of every book in the series, where the main character(s) ...
2
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2answers
196 views

On mastering the art of writing descriptive passages on certain weather conditions

It is, in my opinion, a difficult task to describe certain weather conditions (e.g., an overcast sky, the falling rain, the storm, the rising of the rainbow, the falling of the snow, etc.) effectively....
9
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4answers
2k views

What's the difference between purple prose and vividly descriptive writing?

Elements of Style describes purple prose as "hard to digest, generally unwholesome, and sometimes nauseating." In short, it's ornate, contrived and breaks the narrative. There's plenty of advice on ...
0
votes
1answer
513 views

How do i describe this change in voice?

In this Video, the girl, Seth, at 0:35 transforms and her voice changed along with her transformation. I am trying to describe something similar, the physical change i can describe just fine however ...
4
votes
2answers
175 views

Is there a systematic overview over the approaches of describing a physical object?

If one tries to describe sth. very concrete, like a house, for instance, one could try it with different approaches: describing the very physical attributes: the house is 5m wide, 5m deep and 5m ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

What are some rich but respectful ways to describe various skin colors?

Say I have a kid's book with children of varying skin tones: a boy with British/Germanic background, a girl with Indian parents in the middle point of Indian skin tones, a girl with a Germanic ...
9
votes
5answers
676 views

Am I breaking the “show don't tell” rule in the following passage?

Then, as if sensing my presence, the girl turned around. She looked young. Probably sixteen or seventeen. She had long black hair, crimson red lips, and a skin so pale it made me wonder whether ...
4
votes
3answers
222 views

When to be specific and when to let context fill in the holes?

Some examples: Half-crouching, I went over to the railing and pointed my flashlight down (to the ground). It was approximately a two-storey fall. Not incredibly high, but high enough to kill a ...
1
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1answer
28k views

How to write a polite quotation request email? [duplicate]

Good day! I'm working at Sales Dept. in a manufacturing enterprise. Lately my company strategy is to find other suppliers to have more competitive prices and I appointed to do this task. But I make a ...