Questions tagged [description]

Painting a picture with a thousand words.

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3answers
205 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 ...
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1answer
424 views

Which makes better sense? [closed]

Is it correct to say: Sign Up to our Newsletter Or Sign Up for our Newsletter Thanks!
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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. ...
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2answers
476 views

Am I just a coward, or will my reader be a coward too?

So I was trying to write about creatures that would vomit maggots, and then a different creature would lick it back up and vomit it out again to keep the meal going around. There was loads of maggots ...
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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, ...
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1answer
306 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 ...
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4answers
738 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 ...
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2answers
418 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" ...
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1answer
121 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 ...
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2answers
283 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 ...
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2answers
108 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 ...
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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 ...
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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....
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4answers
142 views

Should I name specific artists?

I'm currently describing a scene of a girl listening to music. My question is, should I say what singer is she listening to? Or I better skip that part and and say something like "she sat on her bed ...
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5answers
6k views

Describe person attempting but failing to suppress a laugh

There is a scene where a character is trying to be level-headed and professional. However, something happens that is funny to him. He lets out a satisfied chuckle but tries with partial success to ...
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2answers
172 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 ...
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2answers
718 views

Describing a large scale battle in a science fiction/fantasy novel

In my novel, there is a large scale battle involving several factions, tens of thousands of fighters, and is a defining part of the book, as it lasts for a good deal of the novel. As I wrote it, I ...
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3answers
614 views

How to write about what you don't know?

I am a strong believer in writing what you know. Everything I write is at least partially based on something that I have experienced. My problem is that for plot reasons, I need one of my characters ...
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3answers
85 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 ...
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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
109 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 ...
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2answers
133 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 ...
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5answers
279 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 ...
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4answers
3k 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 ...
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5answers
6k 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 ...
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3answers
1k 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
356 views

How to help reader visualize the environment in a story?

In a story where there is only one character doesn't talk to anyone don't know where he is and is narrating his story
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1answer
1k 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 ...
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2answers
317 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 ...
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3answers
247 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 ...
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5answers
6k views

How do I realistically describe using a whip?

I'm writing a character who is going to be using a whip. While the scenario is clear in my mind, whenever I try to describe the character's usage of the whip while fighting, the only thing I can come ...
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2answers
197 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
239 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) ...
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2answers
202 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....
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1answer
536 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
210 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 ...
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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 ...
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5answers
476 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)...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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8answers
17k views

Is it better to describe the main character's physical appearance early on in the story?

I'm writing a novel, and I just realized I don't describe be main character's appearance until Chapter 3 (each chapter is 1500~2000 words long and there are 25 chapters in total). I do mention that ...
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1answer
180 views

Does this text flow smoothly (description of suicidal thoughts)?

So how did this animal suicide thing start? Ironically, it began with my own death wish. But why? I had perfect health, friends and family who cared about me, plus I had just been admitted into ...
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7answers
486 views

Beginners can break rules too?

I came across several disciplines of writing which one must know while writing (especially beginners), concerning narrative conventions and the rules of story logic. Some of the sources for this ...
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1answer
4k views

What techniques can be used to describe a character's terror?

I'm trying to write a stressful situation for a character (specifically she's about to be injured) and I'm trying to convey her terror at the situation. My usual trick is to use short snappy ...