1. Kratos
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    Kratos Contributing Member

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    Description

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Kratos, Apr 29, 2008.

    I've noticed, (and so have others), that I'm not too good with describing the settings of my stories. Does anyone have any advice on how to improve?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. para_noir
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    para_noir Member

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    Try do first do it in your head. This is what I did. Every time I looked at a beautiful scenery (on a photo, in real life, etc) I would immediately put everything I saw into words in my head. It grew into a habit then.

    I started writing everything down after that. Sometimes, just for the heck of it, I would look outside my window, and write about everything I saw. Put everything I saw into words. That helps ALOT. You may think its a waste of time, but it honestly helps. (Also, I noticed that each time I did this, I wrote something new, even though nothing changed outside)
    Once you get into the habit of doing this, it will be really really easy to describe what you see in your head. Then describing isn't a problem anymore. :)
     
  3. Mr Sci Fi
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    Mr Sci Fi Senior Member

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    Think of the senses, what your characters can see, smell, hear, touch and taste. Describe the setting as it appears to the senses.

    Think of what's imperative to the scene and elaborate. Omit anything not necessary.

    Imagine how your characters control their environment and stay true to it. A husband and wife engaged in an argument will behave very differently in the privacy of their own bedroom than a public park.
     
  4. para_noir
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    para_noir Member

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    Oh and also, one more thing I learned to do. First, before you start writing, picture yourself there, in that place. Walk around, explore. Its YOUR world, remember!

    Then, on a separate piece of paper or in the computer, type what you see, EVERY MINUTE DETAIL. Everything from the shape of the clouds to the footprints in the sand. Remember, this is only for practice, till you get better at it.
     
  5. Mordecai
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    Mordecai Member

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    Usually if it's fiction, you have to pan it out in your head. If not, and say you use real locations for example; Iceland. I would start doing research and observing photographs of the area and plan it out then and make every detail count.
     
  6. Kratos
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    Kratos Contributing Member

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    Thanks everyone, I'm going to try to do some of these exercises!:)
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Don't overdescribe. The best descriptions are like Japanese rice paper paintings. Every brush stroke is carefully chosen to convey an important part of the image. Every stroke risks shredding the fragile paper, and reworking a brush stroke is nearly guaranteed to destroy the painting. When you are done, you have only painted emough to form the main shapes and suggest the movement - the viewer's mind supplies the rest.

    Good description is exactly the same. If you use two words in a that perform the same task in the description, your finely tuned image begins to disintegrate. Provide enough to lead the reader's thoughts in the right direction, and let his or her mind supply the rest.
     
  8. Mr Sci Fi
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    Mr Sci Fi Senior Member

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    Cogito definitely has the best analogies when it comes to writing.

    It's official.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto that!
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Ok, you have both mafde me actually blush. Thank you for the compliment.
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you look so cute in pink!
     

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