About Writing

Descriptions

When you’re a writer, there’s an unspoken pressure to describe things poetically — probably because no one ever says, “I love how concise and to-the-point all the descriptions are!” when they talk about their favorite novel.

Oftentimes, that pressure turns into purple prose, which is laborious and awful. Most readers will skip over purple prose rather than slog through it.

Some people are naturally more poetic than others, and can effortlessly pull metaphors and similes out of their mind. Me? I’m not. I’m a concise and to-the-point sort of person.

But thankfully, the real world is pretty awesome without all of them fancy descriptions, and you can still create an immersive scene without resorting to purple prose.

Step one: See the world.
I mean, really see it. Internalize it. Notice the small things that are easy to miss, and use ALL of your senses. Pay attention to how it makes you feel.

Step two: Write what you see.
Use the language that comes naturally to you. A sense of vividness comes from including those small details, such as smell or sounds.

Storm clouds rolled in as the sun was setting. The sky turned from gray to a pale gold, with rosy patches intermixing with the darkness of the clouds, but the wind was warm and dry without any hint of rain. Still, it whipped at my clothes and hair, and brought with it the scent of brine from the Great Salt Lake, which was enough to send a thrill pulsing through me.

4 thoughts on “Descriptions”

  1. I think your description is marvellous. I know what you mean about poetic descriptions. Some of us aren’t inclined much that way. And it’s okay. Every writer has their own style.
    Great writing and sharing! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but I started keeping a journal where I pick something to observe and then I try to describe it using all five senses. It’s helped me so much in getting away from just using sight! As you say above, really observing things is key to describing them.

    Liked by 1 person

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