Questions tagged [description]

Painting a picture with a thousand words.

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3
votes
2answers
120 views

How to incorporate figurative language into a simple statement [closed]

Suppose you have a simple statement like: We should not run away from problems but face them and overcome them What, in general, is the way to go about expressing a simple, direct statement like ...
14
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8answers
3k views

What are the limits to description in story writing? How do I know if I have crossed them?

Time and time again, I have been told that my unfounded focus on description distracts from the main story line. I mostly write stories in English, which doesn't happen to be my first language but I'...
3
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1answer
79 views

Leaving out names/pronouns to speed up the flow of a script?

Example: Jane digs in the flowerbed for her ring. Moves to the yard. I’ve seen this a bunch of times, but it still feels sort of wrong when I do it. I just want to know if this is “normal”. ...
1
vote
1answer
88 views

In a script - Is it ok to have a general description of a character “YOUNG MAN”, then the actual description?

For example: A YOUNG MAN drifts into a bar. Something absent in his yes. His varsity jaket, dirty and torn. Blood still drips down his face from the accident. This is -- JAMES SMITH, 17, the boy next ...
3
votes
3answers
98 views

Am I changing POVs if I'm describing what two or more characters are sensing (touch, smell, sound, etc.)?

Am I changing POVs if I'm describing what two or more characters are sensing (touch, smell, sound, etc.)? I know it's not okay to jump from one POV to another. Example: Anna was afraid he'd notice ...
6
votes
2answers
168 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?
10
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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
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4answers
5k 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?"
14
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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 ...
4
votes
3answers
711 views

Describing body language?

This is something I've pondered before. I asked about one gesture on yahoo answers long ago. All I got was a guy saying that even he didn't know the term for it (it was the gesture where someone holds ...
15
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5answers
11k 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
342 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 ...
7
votes
6answers
542 views

How do I write an action scene?

I have recently written an action scene, and I am not satisfied with it. It sounded choppy and inconsistent, and I'd love to know how to write it so it makes sense, doesn't sound like a robotic ...
1
vote
3answers
171 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
566 views

How do you use adverbs properly in fiction writing?

How do you use adverbs properly in fiction writing? In a related question, a reply states: When to use [adverbs]? When your alternative would be pretentious. There are strong nouns and verbs, that ...
14
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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 ...
4
votes
6answers
2k views

How does a person go about describing a place/experience that they never personally experienced before, like a circus?

I've never been to a circus, and all the shows and videos I've seen about them don't give off the full effect. How does a person go about describing a place/experience that they never personally ...
2
votes
1answer
85 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
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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
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5answers
662 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
187 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 head that ...
18
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6answers
3k views

How to express martial arts action in fiction?

In the context of an actual as opposed to training fight scene in a fictional narrative, how would one express martial arts action? Generally, martial arts has a distinctive disciplined but powerful ...
12
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6answers
2k views

How to create tension during a conversation

In my novel my protagonist speaks to a man while being held at gun point. She (protagonist) tried to kill him. He was her boss, was involved in her best friend's death and wants the protagonist dead. ...
2
votes
3answers
122 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, ...
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4answers
2k 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 ...
10
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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, ...
6
votes
3answers
179 views

How to describe a seemingly-random doodle/symbol, whose details are significant?

In my Crime/Mystery/Drama screenplay, there’s a seemingly random doodle at the bottom of a mysterious note. The random doodle looks like a three eyed stick man with a hat. It is drawn with only lines ...
2
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1answer
214 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.) ...
5
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4answers
209 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 ...
2
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3answers
3k 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 ...
3
votes
6answers
1k 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: ...
23
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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
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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 ...
2
votes
2answers
157 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 ...
10
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5answers
5k views

Pregnancy in writing - A bit difficult

In one of my stories, I have a chapter that is all about a woman's first pregnancy and her experience. It is a fictional woman but still, because my writing tends to be on the scientific side of ...
5
votes
4answers
252 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 ...
39
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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 ...
2
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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 ...
0
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4answers
1k views

Am I being too descriptive?

Each and every time I read my stories to people, only one comment is usually made, albeit in different ways... I'm just not sure if they're being honest, or if I am actually doing something right. "...
1
vote
2answers
2k 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
150 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
215 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 ...
5
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6answers
1k views

Physical description of characters

Does a physical description have to be specific to make a character feel real, or can the physical description be general and the details be left to the reader's imagination?
0
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2answers
2k 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
57k 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.
0
votes
4answers
208 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
216 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
226 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
142 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 ...