What is descriptive writing?
However, I believe its safe to state that technology has actually spoiled us. Thanks to images and videos, weve ended up being increasingly visual, which implies its getting more difficult to utilize words to explain something, particularly if it only exists in our creativities.
However many writers are challenged by description writing, and many readers find it tiring to check out– when its not crafted skillfully.
Composing description is a necessary skill for a lot of writers. Whether were writing an essay, a story, or a poem, we generally reach a point where we require to describe something. In fiction, we describe settings and characters. In poetry, we describe feelings, scenes, and experiences. In imaginative nonfiction, we explain reality. Descriptive writing is especially crucial for speculative fiction authors and poets. If youve produced a fantasy world, then youll need to deftly explain it to readers; Lewis Carroll not just described Wonderland ( aff link); he also described the fantastical animals that inhabited it.
What is Descriptive Writing?
One may state that detailed writing is the art of painting a picture with words. Descriptive writing goes beyond visuals. Descriptive composing hits all the senses; we describe how things look, sound, odor, taste, and feel (their tactile quality).
The term descriptive writing can imply a few various things:
Depending upon what you write, youve most likely explore among more of these types of descriptive writing, perhaps all of them.
The act of writing description (Im doing some descriptive writing).
A detailed essay is short-form prose that is indicated to describe something in detail; it can describe an individual, place, things, anything, or event else.
Description as part of a bigger work: This is the most typical type of detailed writing. It is generally a sentence or paragraph (sometimes multiple paragraphs) that supply description, typically to help the reader picture whats occurring, where its occurring, or how its happening. Its most typically used to explain a character or a setting. An example would be a section of text within a book that develops the setting by explaining a room or a passage that introduces a character with a physical description.
Writing that is descriptive (or vivid)– an authors design: Some authors weave description throughout their prose and verse, interspersing it through the dialogue and action. Its a design of writing that imparts description without using large blocks of text that are clearly focused on description.
Description is essential in poetry writing. Poetry emphasizes images, and images is rendered in composing through description, so detailed writing is an essential ability for a lot of poets.
Can you think about any other types of descriptive composing that arent noted here?
Just How Much Description is Too Much?
Nowadays, we all know what a tropical island looks like, thanks to the wide accessibility of media. Even if youve never ever been to such an island, certainly youve seen one on TV. This may explain why few books on the craft of composing address detailed writing. The focus is usually on other elements, like language, character, structure, plot, and style.
For modern writers, the technique is to make the description as comprehensive and exact as possible while keeping it to a minimum. Many readers desire characters and action with just sufficient description so that they can think of the story as its unfolding.
This isnt special to Tolkien and Rowling; if you compare a lot of literature from the start of the 20th century and earlier to todays composed works, youll see that we just do not devote much time and space to description anymore.
Compare the intricate descriptions in J.R.R. Tolkiens Lord of the Rings trilogy with the descriptions in J.K. Rowlings Harry Potter series ( aff links). Both series counted on description to help readers visualize an imagined, fantastical world, however Rowling did not utilize her valuable writing area to describe standard settings whereas Tolkien often paused all action and invested pages describing a single landscape.
I believe this transformation in how we approach description is straight connected to the wide availability of photography, movie, and television. Lets say you were residing in the 19th century, writing a story about a tropical island for an audience of northern, city readers. You would be relatively particular that many of your readers had never seen such an island and had no concept what it looked like. To give your audience a full sense of your storys setting, you d need pages of information describing the lavish jungle, sandy beaches, and warm waters.
Timeless literature was thick with description whereas contemporary literature generally keeps description to a minimum.
If youve ever come across a story that stopped briefly to offer head-to-toe descriptions in addition to comprehensive backstories of every character upon their introduction into the story, you understand simply how grating description can be when executed inadequately.
Nevertheless, its worth keeping in mind that a skilled author can present descriptions that are captivating to check out. In some cases theyre fascinating due to the fact that theyre integrated flawlessly with the action and dialogue; other times, the description is deftly crafted and engaging on its own. A professional descriptive writer can keep readers glued through several pages of description.
Descriptive Writing Tips
On the other hand, inadequately crafted descriptions can truly hinder a readers experience. A lot of readers prefer action and dialogue to lengthy descriptions, so while a paragraph here and there can certainly help readers much better picture whats taking place, pages and pages of description can increase the danger that theyll set your work aside and never pick it up again.
Ive encountered detailed writing seamless and so smooth that I quickly envisioned what was taking place without even observing that I was checking out description. Some authors craft descriptions that are so beautiful, I do observe– but in an excellent way. A few of them are so compelling that I pause to read them once again.
Here are some general tips for descriptive writing:
Usage distinct descriptions that stand out and are unforgettable. Dont compose that a character is 5 foot two with brown hair and blue eyes.
Make description active: Consider the following description of a room: There was a bookshelf in the corner. A desk sat under the window. The walls were beige, and the flooring was tiled. Thats boring. Try something like this: A huge oak desk sat below a big image window and beside a rack overflowing with books. Binders, paperbacks, and hardbounds were stacked on the drab tiled flooring in messy stacks. In the 2nd example, words like overruning and stacked are active.
Weave description through the story: Sometimes a character gets in a space and looks around, so the narrative requirements to stop briefly to describe what the character sees. Other times, description can be threaded through the story. Utilize the characters thoughts and the dialogue tags to reveal description: He looked at her running, auburn curls, which reminded him of his moms hair.
Basic descriptions are remarkably easy to perform. All you have to do is look at something (or imagine it) and compose what you see. Well-crafted descriptions require authors to pay diligence to word option, to explain just those elements that are most essential, and to utilize appealing language to paint a photo in the readers mind.
10 detailed composing practices.
How to Practice Writing Description
Do you put much idea into how you compose description? What types of detailed writing have you tackled– detailed essays, blocks of description within bigger texts, or descriptions woven throughout a story?
More Reading: Abolish the Adverbs, Making the Right Word Choices for Better Writing, and Writing Description in Fiction.
Ive come across descriptive composing seamless and so smooth that I easily imagined what was occurring without even observing that I was checking out description. Many readers choose action and dialogue to prolonged descriptions, so while a paragraph here and there can definitely help readers much better envision whats taking place, pages and pages of description can increase the danger that theyll set your work aside and never ever choose it up again. Make description active: Consider the following description of a space: There was a bookshelf in the corner. Here are some detailed writing activities that will motivate you while providing opportunities to practice writing description. What types of descriptive composing have you taken on– detailed essays, blocks of description within larger texts, or descriptions woven throughout a narrative?
Feel complimentary to share them in the remarks if you have any detailed composing practices to include to this list.
Go to among your preferred spots and compose a description of the setting: it could be your bedroom, a preferred coffee bar, or a regional park. Leave people, discussion, and action out of it. Simply concentrate on discussing what the space looks like.
Who is your preferred character from the films? Describe the character from head to toe. Program the reader not just what the character looks like, however also how the character acts. Do this without consisting of action or discussion. Keep in mind: description only!
Forty years ago we didnt have cell phones or the internet. Now we have cellular phone that can access the internet. Think about a device or gizmo that well have forty years from now and describe it.
Considering that modern-day fiction is light on description, lots of young and new authors typically stop working to include details, even when the reader needs them. Go through among your composing jobs and make certain components that readers might not be familiar with are effectively explained.
Often in a story, a little description supplies reprieve from all the action and dialogue. Make a list of things from a story youre dealing with (gizmos, characters, settings, and so on), and for each one, write a brief description of no more than a hundred words.
As mentioned, Tolkien often spent pages describing a single landscape. Select among your preferred pieces of traditional literature, find a long passage of description, and reword it. Attempt to cut the descriptive word count in half.
Use a highlighter to mark sentences and paragraphs that include description when you check out a book. Do not highlight every adjective and adverb. Try to find longer passages that are committed to description.
Write a description for a child. Choose something reasonably challenging, like the planetary system. How do you explain it in such a method that a kid understands how she or he suits it?
Most authors imagine someday composing a book. Explain your book cover.
Compose a one-page description of yourself.
Here are some detailed writing activities that will influence you while supplying chances to practice writing description. You might discover that your first few attempts are flat and uninteresting if you do not have much experience with descriptive writing. Theyll roam off if you cant keep readers engaged. Work at crafting descriptions that are mesmerizing and compelling.