Questions tagged [description]

Painting a picture with a thousand words.

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5
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
16
votes
5answers
15k 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
423 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
622 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
344 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
926 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
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1answer
95 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
3k 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
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
195 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 ...
18
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6answers
5k 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
3k 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
159 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, ...
1
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4answers
4k 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
187 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
votes
1answer
340 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
votes
4answers
306 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
votes
3answers
7k 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
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: ...
24
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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
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2answers
1k 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
6k 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
312 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 ...
40
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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
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 ...
0
votes
4answers
2k 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
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2answers
6k 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
183 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
228 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
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 ...
7
votes
4answers
101k 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
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4answers
239 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
460 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
242 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
191 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
227 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
753 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 ...
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 ...
18
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8answers
5k views

How to show a brief hesitation around a word

When we speak, there are often small pauses between syntactic units such as sentences. In writing, these pauses are signified by punctuation: I can come if you want. (without pause) I can come, if ...
1
vote
2answers
501 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 ...
21
votes
7answers
8k views

How much detail is too much?

I've read a few amateur stories online and sometimes the author will include so much detail that the reader gets a little bored or distracted and forgets what the actual story is talking about. How do ...
6
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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 ...
16
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10answers
5k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
123 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 ...