2022: Writing Great Descriptions

Stories don’t work without descriptions—the reader needs to experience what the character experiences.

The best way to write a great description is to close your eyes and envision the scene—lay out the scene in your mind before you write it

DESCRIBE WHAT YOUR CHARACTERS WOULD NOTICE—writing is an account of how people think—so be sure to think for your character

Use all the senses—seeing, feeling, tasting, hearing, and smelling

            He saw the trees as he walked down the street – colors, swaying in the breeze etc.

            He felt the rough bark on the tree or the cool shade of its branches

            He tasted the apple from the tree

            He heard the birds in the tree

            He smelled the apple in his hand

  • Have you provided enough details and descriptions so your readers can gain a complete and vivid perception?
  • Have you left out any minor but key details?
  • Have you used words that convey your emotion or perspective?
  • Are there any unnecessary details in your description?
  • Does each paragraph of your essay focus on one aspect of your description?
  • Are your paragraphs ordered in the most effective way?

To be sure it is descriptive ask yourself:

  • Does the story unfold in a way that helps the reader fully appreciate the subject? Do any paragraphs confuse more than describe?
  • Does the word choice and language involve the five senses and convey emotion and meaning?
  • Are there enough details to give the reader a complete picture?
  • Has a connection been made between the description and its meaning to the writer? Will the reader be able to identify with the conclusion?

Do not put all your descriptions into a lump–spread them out into back stories and make descriptions part of the active story

But the most important rules of writing is: “Learn the rules and then break them!” Remember it is your story and it is yours to create.

What are you reading and writing this week?

About peggylchambers

Peggy Chambers calls Enid, Oklahoma home. She has been writing for several years and is an award winning, published author, always working on another. She spends her days, nights, and weekends making up stories. She attended Phillips University, the University of Central Oklahoma and is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. She is a member of the Enid Writers’ Club, and Oklahoma Writers’ Federation, Inc. There is always another story weaving itself around in her brain trying to come out. There aren’t enough hours in the day!
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