Questions tagged [description]

Painting a picture with a thousand words.

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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 ...
5
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3answers
148 views

How do I differentiate characters in first person POV when the narrator doesn't know them yet?

Okay, so two women are in a bar and I'm telling the story from one of the women's POV. Two guys come in and the women are watching/listening to them from a distance. They don't know their names or ...
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4answers
421 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 ...
5
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2answers
148 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 ...
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4answers
311 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 ...
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4answers
814 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 ...
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4answers
2k views

Can my paragraph use better adjectives and descriptions?

I feel my punctuation is all over the place, and the adjectives are not as charming as I think they are. If anyone has watched the beginning of the first Lord of the Rings, where the hobbit is lying ...
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4answers
1k views

How can I make description more natural to me?

Description is a weakness in my fiction. My understanding is that the first priority in fiction is to tell the story. Setting does this by providing props and indicating character mindsets, either ...
5
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3answers
129 views

When is using a simile better than giving a literal description?

Definition of simile : a figure of speech comparing two unlike things that is often introduced by like or as (as in cheeks like roses) Similes are nice tools that every narrator has (even if I'...
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2answers
2k 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 ...
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2answers
221 views

RDF vocabularly for storytelling

Can anyone point me to an RDF vocabulary used for story-telling? A Resource Description Framework is a technique for structuring data in a way that computers can easily process it and connect simple ...
5
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1answer
148 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, "...
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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 ...
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3answers
207 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 ...
5
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2answers
72 views

I’m trying to describe a character who broke his leg

I am a young author writing a fantasy series. I am re-writing a chapter that I wrote a few months ago because it’s an earlier one, and I didn’t really know what I was doing, so it sounded bad. Anyway, ...
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5answers
892 views

Should fiction mention song names and iPods?

In my novel, the protagonist is depressed. In the story which is in my mind... The autumn leaves were falling as I was sitting alone and Gary Jules' "Mad World" was ringing in my iPod. The ...
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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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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 ...
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7answers
877 views

Alternative to “it is commonly said”

I have a sentence I am trying to write that just doesn't feel right. It currently reads "It is commonly said that X, but the truth is that Y." The second part feels okay, but the first part feels like ...
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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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5answers
572 views

How can I improve this description which includes actions?

This is the beginning of a short story I'm writing (I'm not a native English speaker): I was lying in the dark, looking at the ceiling, counting spider webs. She was lying right beside me. I ...
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2answers
501 views

Describing weighing an object in hand [closed]

A person holds a stone object in one hand. They throw it up and down in the air, in that hand, a few times, to judge the weight/feel/impact of the object. Does this particular physical action have ...
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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
5k 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 ...
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2answers
737 views

Does the following piece have too much dry narration (mundane tasks, moving about)?

Tsuki woke up to the morning sun that entered through the window. She yawned and sat on the side of the bed, rubbing her eyes. The clock on the wall said half past ten. She brushed her teeth, ...
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3answers
169 views

When you can't even draw a stick man…? (concept art)

Good day all. Hope the writing muses are with you all. I was wondering what helps you to imagine details in a scene? I can't say that I'm a detailed oriented person so what I find acceptable as a ...
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3answers
367 views

Creating character imagery without describing their physical looks

This is more for my own curiosity than anything else but I was wondering if when reading about a character with no specified gender and no description of their looks, does the choice of words used to ...
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2answers
252 views

Describing shapes and objects

While I absolutely agree, that descriptions should be experienced through the narrator's / protagonist's eyes in terms of personal involvement, I oftentimes find myself puzzled in describing the basic ...
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2answers
1k 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. ...
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3answers
111 views

How can I specify the speaker in the dialogue without repeating the hero's name?

Let's say my character is Alex, a young man and an actor. I'm describing a long dialogue of him and another person. I need to specify he is a person speaking quite often so the reader is not confused ...
4
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1answer
99 views

A pulse, a throb, and a beat

I wrote a passage where one of my characters heard beats, (i.e., the sound) then he found the beating object and, when he held it in his hand, it started throbbing like a heart, (i.e., the feeling). ...
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4answers
102 views

How to eliminate standoff between “Lengthy” vs “Concision”?

Often while writing a software requirement/change-request documentation, I need to include the quoted requirements descriptively, the impacted modules, the changes provided both in UI and in logic. ...
4
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1answer
867 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 ...
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1answer
52 views

How else to describe: in the mind's eye? (images that appear to the character in the midst of thinking)

Often, my characters will be thinking and flash, some image appears to guide their thought. An example: I promised her. No. You pinky swore. You swore you’ll drudge down to the library and study. She ...
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2answers
114 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, ...
4
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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 ...
4
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2answers
36 views

Describing symbols and glyphs succinctly and accurately

The system of writing in my work contains eight basic shapes that get a number of permutations each. One of my viewpoint characters is learning this system of writing for the first time, and I want to ...
4
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5answers
882 views

How can I write an annoying character without annoying the reader?

My story has a group of five refugees traveling across the kingdom. One of them is preachy and pretty much useless (unused to physical labor, trying to convert the heathens in the group). She's ...
4
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2answers
101 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 '...
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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 ...
3
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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: ...
3
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2answers
414 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 ...
3
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4answers
748 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 ...
3
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3answers
308 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 ...
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5answers
393 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 ...
3
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4answers
238 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 ...
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2answers
193 views

How can I emphasize the horror of a ritual without getting too overly graphic?

A person is born with a certain amount of mana, which increases with age and peaks at a certain point. Individuals are born with all the mana they will ever have, but it can be refined with practice ...
3
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1answer
105 views

Should character descriptions be written in past or present tense?

My novel is written in past tense and I'm wondering if the description of my characters should be written in present or in past too, especially if my characters are part of a series and will be ...
3
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2answers
117 views

How Do I Define Smells Of A World With Anosmia? [duplicate]

I am a lifelong writer, who was also born without an ability to smell. I have been trained to engage the reader by applying the five senses, or as many of the five as is practical without becoming ...
3
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3answers
927 views

Critique a short essay

So There I was in the scorching, afternoon, summer heat of Cairo. It was a huge change from the UK’s mild weather, and together with the fact that I had been fasting - as in no food or drink- for 15 ...