Questions tagged [description]

Painting a picture with a thousand words.

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3
votes
2answers
274 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 ...
3
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1answer
91 views

How do we properly manage transitions within a descriptive section? [closed]

I wrote the following: She invited him to look out the window, which he did. He looked out of the gray window and saw a field of green vegetables under a lush blue sky. Children were playing in ...
3
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1answer
84 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 ...
3
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3answers
251 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 ...
3
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2answers
694 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 ...
3
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2answers
315 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 ...
3
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1answer
88 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”. ...
3
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1answer
232 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) ...
3
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2answers
124 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 ...
3
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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 ...
2
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3answers
2k views

Is it stylistically sound to use onomatopoeic words?

I'm writing a non-comedic fantasy novel, and I find myself using onomatopoeic words, like "SLAM!" and "TWISH" (for the shooting of arrows). To my knowledge, onomatopoeic words are almost only used in ...
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
276 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 ...
2
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2answers
257 views

Succinctly indicate that an emotional hug is not sexual

I'm working on one of the final scenes of my novel. The President is a kind, intelligent, fatherly man. Sara is a high-ranking NSA official and has been through months of intense pressure that has ...
2
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3answers
103 views

Do we simplify descriptions when they sound weird? [closed]

The woman said as she pulled a small coin out of a small wallet ... The woman said as she pulled a small coin out of a small box she opened/used earlier. I am wondering if "opened" or "used" is ...
2
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4answers
15k views

Is the opening of this story intriguing, “dark” and smooth? [closed]

Disclaimer: I'm not an Native English Speaker. This is my fifth attempt of writing a short story (the previous ones are set in the same "universe" as this one). I would like to know if the reader ...
2
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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 ...
2
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4answers
171 views

Is this description of my small productivity application clear enough?

I wrote a small productivity application, Tomate. Since I'm not a native English speaker, I'm afraid the description of the project may not be clear enough for potential users. Can you help me improve ...
2
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3answers
852 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 ...
2
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2answers
7k views

How can you represent music in writing

I was wondering if a character was in a nighclub or at a concert. How do you represent the music? It got me thinking that writing is a very non musical medium and that it is actually pretty hard to ...
2
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3answers
207 views

What's wrong with impersonal and lifeless descriptions in a novel? [closed]

It feels like there is something wrong with using impersonal descriptions in fiction. But what is it? As an example, I'm unhappy with the following passage I wrote, because the descriptions aren't ...
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 ...
2
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2answers
462 views

Inventing a fictional town in a real geographic location

So, I'm nearing the conclusion of a novel, and I just realized that 70,000 words in, I've never told the readers where the characters live. Now, this is may seem like a rather trivial detail, and if ...
2
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3answers
121 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 ...
2
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3answers
144 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, ...
2
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5answers
5k 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 ...
2
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3answers
226 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 ...
2
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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 ...
2
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5answers
976 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
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2answers
636 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 ...
2
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2answers
221 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 ...
2
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3answers
5k 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 ...
2
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2answers
147 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 ...
2
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3answers
235 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 ...
2
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2answers
194 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....
2
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3answers
176 views

Improving techniques independently: Description

How can I improve my technique in description? Which things I should avoid in description? How can I know, that I put "enough" description and will go to narration? My description technique is bad (...
2
votes
1answer
90 views

How to describe a row of two different types of trees?

This may seem like a silly question (it definitely feels like it has one of those answers that I already know, but just can't dig up). And maybe this isn't the right place for it, but I am asking for ...
2
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2answers
79 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, ...
2
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2answers
119 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 ...
2
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2answers
579 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 ...
2
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2answers
122 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 ...
2
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2answers
3k 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 ...
2
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2answers
830 views

How do I add more imagery to this short paragraph?

I am writing an essay for tenth grade, and I have to write a small story in one paragraph. With a lot of imagery (to get my teacher excited). I added some, but I don't think it's enough. This isn't ...
2
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1answer
73 views

Descriptive Writing [duplicate]

When writing, is it more description (adjective, adverbs, imagery, etc.) the better? I have been told that there is a point where descriptions just clutters a story. How do I know when to stop? In the ...
2
votes
1answer
90 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
votes
1answer
194 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 ...
2
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2answers
330 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 '...
2
votes
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. ...
2
votes
1answer
67 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
1answer
281 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.) ...