I am certainly not the best at description but like most of us who strive to be the very best writing versions of ourselves, I am a work in progress.
Today, for Wisdom from the Writer’s Journal, I want to do an exercise of Description.
‘Description’ is everything when it comes to writing. We as writers do not have the same ‘advantages’ as those who create physical visual art. We do not paint with oils on canvas, we paint with words on the canvas of our reader’s minds.
We don’t have the bonus of background music to lead our scenes, letting our readers know the monster is coming around the corner or that the brooding man is about to kiss his love interest.
Nope. What we have are words to translate the vibrancy, heart and soul of our stories, and boy can they be the most powerful tool of all especially if they are wielded in the right way.
In order for our work to translate with the vibrancy, we intend it to we need to master the art of creating imagery through proper description. This is done through practice and exercise.
After all, you don’t want your action thriller to be mistaken for chick-lit, having sweet violins playing with the crescendo of mezzopiano while your hero is caught up in a shoot-out that may lead him or her to death’s door…
That is unless you are writing a chick-lit action thriller which is totally possible. Still, the sweet stringed music created by your description wouldn’t work there.
So with that in mind, here is an exercise to help you stay on descriptive track.
- Using the image below, write the first ‘novel-style’ description that comes to mind. This would be your ‘usual’ writer’s voice. (Example: If romance is your jam, describe with romance in mind. Get those violins playing!)
- Next, using the same image, write a second paragraph describing the character from a specifically from a woman’s point of view. (Note: How characters see each other also sets the tone of your story. Gender also affects this.)
- Do this now from a man’s point of view. (If you hadn’t already.)
- See which of your descriptions works best for these different Genres
- Now, take the time to decide why you feel this way. Jot down your reasons.
- Keep these things in mind for the future.
Voice is everything, the voice behind the voice especially. Don’t just live in a creative comfort zone. Stretch yourself on purpose, with purpose and take your stories to a whole other level. Be able to write in several ranges.
~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!