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Writing Tips 108: Six Tips for Writing Descriptions

Tips by John Hewitt
Originally Posted


Six Quick Tips for Writing Descriptions

  1. Close your eyes and try to recreate the image in your head.
  2. Remember that people have five senses. Don’t just rely on visual description.
  3. Adjectives should describe, not evaluate. Describing skin as smooth or tan is better than describing it as pretty or perfect.
  4. Don’t over-describe things. A description should enhance the story, not drag it to a stop.
  5. Don’t describe things that don’t matter. If you spend a paragraph discussing a minor character’s mustache-grooming ritual, it had better be important to your story.
  6. Draw your descriptions from real-life memories.
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    Regarding #2 and #4, I read somewhere that a scene should appeal to three of the five senses, and that for each sense,...
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