WRITING DESCRIPTION

Realistic description will make your story a must read. Try telling about yourself or a close friend. It will be a real test.

          Have you ever come to the end of the book feeling it should go on and on, pulling you along with the characters, which have become more than  words on the printed page. You identify with these people. You have become part of their surroundings, and what happens to them matters to you.

Description in your story should be so vivid and convincing it takes the reader to that exact time and place. It is how the characters look and how they react to one another. Description should fill in all the details of the setting. It should enfold  the reader into the tale so completely, there is no doubt he or she has become part of the action..

The scene should be seen through the reader’s eyes and emotions.  Make the description part of the action.  In the struggle, did his feet scrape across concrete or gravel? Did he cower under, or tower above his assailant? If you are talking about a war you can’t just plop your character into the middle of a bloody conflict. You have to build toward that scene, using DESCRIPTION. It has to fill every sentence with words that will make the reader hold his breath to learn the outcome…and it shouldn’t always be on the side of the main character. Remember: the peaks and valleys, the give and take of any good story is filled with meaningful description.

If you are describing the moon, for instance, you wouldn’t want to say ‘ it was round or bright.’  You might describe how the shadows fell through the  dense trees, or the dim light broke through the lace curtain. A woman is not pretty, or fair, or homely. She has ruddy cheeks or freckles, or her hair is the color of smoke or sunshine.  She needs to stand out for exactly who she is.  Make your characters have a few traits to make them memorable, or desirable, or mundane. Once you have established those traits, it is not necessary to keep repeating them.

Build the feeling, the emotion, not only the facts. Your main character, in particular, should have deep reasons for the way he reacts.  Set the mood. The description will fall into place, a little at a time, but strong enough tp give your story the body it needs..