Monday, January 16, 2012
Writing Descriptions in Creative Writing
It’s a common knowledge that description is an integral part of creative writing. It not only give the readers immediate sense of the world, it also must carry the plot forward at the same time. Just as dialogues, descriptions should be succinct, vivid, and easy to understand. As writers, you want to give the realistic world and relatable characters. After all, there’s nothing like a flat description that makes the readers’ eyes glaze over.
However, many writers fall into the pit of information dumping or over-describing when the details should be woven into the narrative. There are two distinct mistakes when it comes to writing description. Some tells us every little information about the setting or the characters. Even the things the readers don’t actually need to know or want to know. And some give too little description. This is where the writer skim through the explanation lacking in world building.
Examples: I’ve read books where I had to read ten pages before I finally got to “see” the character. Until then, all I knew was the name and the gender. If this is your protagonist (MC), you need to give us a clear picture of him/her. The other bad example is over doing it. I’ve read books where the writers describe the character walking into a room in three paragraphs, telling every movement. And it wasn’t even necessary to the plot, meaning it didn’t add anything to the story or the character development.
So how does one write perfect description? You need to find a balance. You need to create a vivid image using five senses. You have to articulate in a succinct manner. Writers, read your MS over again. Can some words be deleted without changing the scenery or the plot? Are there too much information that slows down the pacing? Are there too little world building? All writers need to learn to be objective and view their work with critical eyes. Now, I appreciate how difficult that can be, but that’s a writer’s job. If it were easy, everyone would be published authors. Good luck in your writing and revising process. Thanks for visiting my blog~
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Labels: Long Writing and Editing Tips