Questions tagged [description]

Painting a picture with a thousand words.

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20
votes
7answers
6k 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 ...
18
votes
8answers
3k views

How to make clear what a part-humanoid character looks like when they're quite common in their world?

How can I describe an unconventionally part-humanoid character, so the reader knows clearly what they look like, while in a world where these people are normal and it's not unusual at all for ...
21
votes
11answers
10k views

How to describe skin colour, if “white” is not the point of reference?

A character looks at another character, skin colour creates certain associations. A character looks at himself, and associations would be shaped by society, and by what is "normal" in that society. ...
5
votes
4answers
135 views

Describing paralyzing fear in the first person

I would appreciate some suggestions that would help me describe intense terrifying fear that my main character feels when the airplane he is on suddenly goes into a seemingly out of control dive that ...
3
votes
1answer
68 views

How should I describe a light beam coming out from any point in polar coordinates?

In my article a half circle shaped sheet is being rotated on z axis. A light beam is constructed on the surface of the sheet in any time in any point. How should I describe the light beam with its ...
4
votes
2answers
91 views

How much description is too much?

A companion question for How much description is necessary, how much description is too much? I close my eyes, I can visualise my MC's bedroom (for example) in tiniest detail: the accent wallpaper, ...
15
votes
5answers
1k views

How much description is necessary?

I have trouble imagining things. With me everything is blurred, as if I were almost blind. That's why I find it hard to describe things. For example, the protagonists enter a castle. I have a very ...
1
vote
2answers
95 views

Is this imagery?

Would this small paragraph in my short story be considered as imagery? (Rose is looking for a painting) Rose and Mr. Howard stepped inside. There were cobwebs everywhere. Lots and lots of old ...
5
votes
2answers
132 views

How do you describe sentimental human physical interactions?

For example, Amanda just lost a battle in her life. When she met her best friend and mother, she lost it and started crying. The other characters comforted her with a hug, some talks, and some pats on ...
8
votes
4answers
248 views

Tips and tricks to describe more

I'm careful with the phrasing of this question as it is dangerously close to be opinion based. Everyone has their preference regarding the amount of description they expect to find in a work of ...
2
votes
2answers
74 views

Describing the face and physiological responses in different languages and peoples

The English language evolves from the English people, and the English people live way up there, away from the equator. So, it is no wonder that the English language will reflect this. He was a tall, ...
31
votes
5answers
3k views

Avoiding repetition when there are two unidentified individuals

The tall figure was overwhelmingly tall. It stood in the corner of the room. The skinny figure right beside him sat on a chair. It wasn't moving at all. The tall figure moved to the opposite side ...
2
votes
3answers
116 views

How can I make distinctions between a hive-mind and a super consciousness?

Not sure if this is a worldbuilding or writing question, but here it goes. In this setting, gods of humanity are beings of absolute order that exist in another plane of existence. They are ...
0
votes
1answer
69 views

Describing new/strange foods [closed]

Alright, another question from the POV of Eris, my unreliable narrator living in a post-apocalyptic world who has just met other humans and is experiencing a variety of new things. She just met a ...
2
votes
1answer
64 views

Transitioning between an Interrupted sleep and falling back into it again WITHOUT repeating material?

I'm currently working on a fanfiction/ comic, and a more recent scene I've been working on is a specific character re-awaking in the middle of the night to an Owl's call, and, unrelatedly, describing ...
2
votes
3answers
164 views

How to describe a horse from the POV of someone who has never seen one? [closed]

In my story, my narrator has only recently met other humans and the biggest creature she has ever interacted with are dogs. In the survivors' camp, she encounters their horses and is pretty freaked ...
5
votes
4answers
223 views

Phrasing to balance immense speed with boredom

Through much of my novel the protagonist spends considerable time cruising over various landscapes at speeds exceeding 500 km/h. To you or me this is significant but to the character, it's "just a job....
0
votes
3answers
185 views

How much realism do I put into a war simulation story for Young Adults?

I am writing an action/thriller light novel for YA audience. The story involves characters "playing" in a war-simulation game in an extremely realistic and full immersive Virtual Reality. By "full ...
22
votes
11answers
7k views

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 ...
7
votes
8answers
725 views

How do I draw attention to a girl's chest without making it overly lewd?

So, I have a group of main characters, and the current viewpoint character is going to introduce a... very well-endowed character. How do I write this so that I get the point across that she's that ...
1
vote
3answers
115 views

How to describe a character without dialogue?

I have a slave who is not sure if she's allowed to speak at the moment, and I want to introduce her owner. How can I do it without bogging it down with an essay on him?
16
votes
7answers
3k views

Facial expressions as part of dialogue - getting rid of a verbal tic

I noticed a verbal tic in my writing: He looked surprised He looked confused He looked abashed Sometimes twice in a row: The prince looked abashed. “I- I thought I was being polite,” ...
19
votes
6answers
4k views

How long should I mention an injured character’s pain?

My main character gets shot and survives. One thing that bothers me is a character who is injured and keeps going like the energizer bunny. I try to set up for a rapid recovery, mentioning training ...
0
votes
5answers
1k views

How do i properly name a fictional species and describe it?

I'm currently developing a fictional species set in a fantasy world, and I want to name it, but I don't want it to sound too... scientific? For example, our scientific name is Homo sapiens, but we don'...
0
votes
2answers
78 views

How to describe movement in zero-G?

Within the setting of my personal project (a hard science fiction) I need to be able to describe movement in zero-G extensively. Because I wish to write a whole narrative involving very little ...
18
votes
6answers
4k views

How to give cartography information in a fantasy setting without being too precise?

I'm writing a fantasy story set in an imaginary world. For the first time, I'm giving geographical information and... I don't really know how to give it, actually. My alpha reader told me it was hard ...
1
vote
1answer
94 views

How to deal with Infalliable Narrator issue?

So, what I'm writing is a novel where I'm the narrator who describes life events of my another self. The whole story revolves around this character. This page contains the following passage in the ...
0
votes
2answers
139 views

Difference between a descriptive essay and a narrative essay?

Okay, so here's my problem: I am trying to write an essay from a prompt that uses the word "describe", but what I'm being asked to describe is not a single person or object, rather it's more broadly a ...
3
votes
3answers
230 views

In what order should I name characters?

I was wondering if there is a rule or advice in which order to name my characters. For example, if I want to tell that Bob, John and Rob entered the room should I just name them in random order or ...
2
votes
2answers
114 views

Providing context without getting lost in Description

I think one of the challenges I have faced the most often in writing books has been where to start. I tend to do a lot of flash forwards to jump into the action and follow it up with a chapter or two ...
5
votes
1answer
111 views

How do I write the names of letters in a book?

I have a situation where I am trying to explain a company logo that is flashing in propaganda. Let us say the logo is an "M" overlaying a "Y," how would I write that? I would think one would write, "...
15
votes
6answers
5k views

When is a lack of long, sophisticated words to describe an otherwise simple concept bad?

Reading books of Dan Brown and that sort (pardon my inability to produce any other relevant examples off the top of my head) gives off the impression to budding writers that novels need to have a ...
5
votes
4answers
624 views

Best way to write chilling, short thriller/horror without getting gory in a natural setting?

What are the tricks to writing short, chilling stories that don't resort to blood or cliched monsters, in a setting in nature of hunter/hunted? EDIT: While this edit isn't meant to invalidate any of ...
3
votes
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 ...
8
votes
4answers
245 views

How to describe something, that would normally be shown by facial expressions?

When I think of a scene, I often think of little hints or gestures, to express certain things or thought processes. For example a character breaking eye contact, but quickly looking back to not show ...
3
votes
3answers
227 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 ...
40
votes
7answers
5k views

How often should I remind my readers of the setting?

My story takes place in a city during a hard winter: streets are covered with snow, the wind is blowing, the river is frozen. I describe all the setting in the very first scene. My character leaves ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Sensory Information Overload

I'm reading The Book of Human Emotions by Tiffany Watt Smith (good stuff if you want to inform the use of emotion in your writing), and I've just come across Overwhelmed (feeling). It talks about the ...
6
votes
3answers
592 views

How do I describe an accidental kiss between the two main characters that is romantic as well as regretful?

How do I describe an accidental kiss between the two main characters? I want to make it so they got caught up in the situation and that both of them apologise to each other after that, like a kiss ...
18
votes
9answers
5k views

Is it ok to reference something modern to give the reader a better idea of what something looks like if the book is set in the Middle Ages?

This is a random example but would it be bad if I said something like this when the book is set in a historical setting: “Edwards sword was black and shiny like a brand new car” is it not ok? Should I ...
6
votes
4answers
232 views

How does one go about describing someone doing Naruto like hand symbols?

Like how do I describe if someone is doing symbols with their hands like this? I want to describe specific hand formation but that seems like it’ll be a whole paragraph just for one second of saying ...
5
votes
3answers
180 views

How to express uncontrollable sadness [closed]

I am doing an assignment where I have to add my own chapter into a book our class read called Looking For Alaska by John Green. When: We don't know what she's feeling when she does it because it's ...
3
votes
4answers
223 views

How to write about characters and places you aren't personally familiar with?

What do I need to do, as an Indian writer, if I want to make British or Americans the main characters in my book, and make the whole story revolve around them in any other country? In general, is it ...
0
votes
1answer
142 views

How to write about pouring water? [closed]

When someone treats a wound, like a burn, there’s this sound of the water pouring down, hitting the sink. Does anyone know what the sound is called? What things should I keep in mind while writing ...
2
votes
2answers
316 views

How to express Nihilism without explicitly stating it? [closed]

In my novel, the character is sitting in a café sipping coffee, and she is watching a busy street of people rushing towards London underground after the office hours. I want to express the thoughts in ...
7
votes
4answers
675 views

Do I need to repeat character descriptions of main characters from one book to the next?

In the second book of my trilogy, do I need to repeat everything about the main characters' appearance from the last book, or can I just mention a few key things?
4
votes
1answer
380 views

How to describe sound? [closed]

I have this scene in my novel that I'm trying to write. There is this character who is on the boat, rowing. I don't know how to describe the sound of the oar touching the water as he paddles. The ...
6
votes
8answers
2k views

Describing something that doesn't exist [duplicate]

I'm in the middle of my first draft for my novel, and I can't seem to properly convey to my audience the image I'm trying to describe. That's what I want to show my readers, but it's coming across ...
7
votes
4answers
446 views

Describe illustrated characters?

I'm writing a YA fantasy novel in my free time that I plan to illustrate myself. Most if not all named characters will have their 'picture' presented to the reader as soon as they are introduced. ...
19
votes
6answers
6k views

Should I describe a person or a room first?

If you are introducing a new character and a new location, both are going to be involved for a while, which description should I put first? The character becomes close friends with the protagonist and ...