1. LMThomas
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    LMThomas Member

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    Need help with a description

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by LMThomas, Apr 16, 2016.

    In my scene a short, Mexican bartender is coming over to my MC's booth to take orders. I'm trying to figure out a way to describe his walk more interestingly than this:

    "The bartender came over to their table and asked for their drink orders."

    Any ideas? I'm stuck on it. "Lumbered over" implies he's tall. The baretender isn't a MC, he's only in the book for a few scenes. He's a serious no-nonsense guy.
     
  2. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Is it important that the "came over" part is mentioned? If you're in the POV of one of the characters at the table, you'd generally only describe what they see/focus on, and unless things are very boring at the table they probably wouldn't notice the bartender until he arrived. So maybe just:

    "We need to talk about that," Jane said firmly, then turned and smiled at the bartender, who'd just arrived at their table.

    "What can I get you to drink?" he asked, his smile polite but not quite friendly.​


    Or if things at the table ARE boring or awkward or whatever, you could probably play that up:

    Jane stared at the bartender. He was clearly on his way over to take their drink orders, but he was taking his sweet time about it.
    More general note: Often when I have trouble describing something it's because that something isn't really important enough to deserve a description. I try to save the details for when they're important. If there's something important about the way this guy is walking to the table, I'd mention it, but otherwise, I think you could gloss right over it.
     
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  3. LMThomas
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    LMThomas Member

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    My teacher said I should describe the bartender based on how he walks rather than make a whole paragraph about him. That's basically why I'm asking.
     
  4. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    "The bartender came over to their table and asked for their drink orders."

    The quick hustle of the bartender belied his short stature.
     
  5. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    The forehead pressed against their table top, and Jessica peered to her lap, felt breeze against upon her knee tops, felt a swift pang of jealousy. Size three shoes were pushed against her own heels, were delightful little feet, and attached to the cutest tummy. She blushed, gathered the waiter in her arms, sat him upon her thighs, brushed his back, burped the lad, watched as he took their menu order with the pencil.

    'I was not expecting that, ' said Kevin.

    'Don't you love the little people?' said Jessica, a faraway look in her eyes.

    'Need the bathroom..' said Kevin, and rose among a sea of tiny chaps. Waiters bustled between tables...blah blah
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2016
  6. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    But why describe the bartender at all? Is he important? If this character isn't important, I simply wouldn't waste any description on him. If you must mention him walking over, what you have currently re "he came over and asked them for their drinks order" is perfectly sufficient. There's no need to jazz up what should be very simple unless there's a reason to jazz it up. By the sounds of how you've described this bartender, there's no reason to, so don't. Sometimes simple is best; you don't have to make everything exciting.
     
  7. A man called Valance
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    A man called Valance Active Member

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    shuffled over, sidled over... bunny hopped.
     
  8. Kate Sen
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    Kate Sen Member

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    Barreled over
     
  9. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Is your teacher someone who seems qualified to offer advice like this? (ie. not a standard high school English teacher - someone with some actual experience in creative writing?) If so, maybe you could ask your teacher for clarification?
     
  10. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    O give o'er...teacher's probably looking for more sophistication, gives him a nudge.

    'CW Teacher' heh heh... like to see him fight that corner...[respectfully @BV :)]
     
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  11. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Was this in the sense of, "This is a way to make the piece better" or was this the actual assignment ("Write a scene based on the way that someone walks.")?

    Because I find myself disagreeing with your teacher. Well, that is--yes, you don't need a whole paragraph, but do you have to describe the bartender at all?
     
  12. tonguetied
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    tonguetied Contributing Member Contributor

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    The bartender appeared at their table and said, "What's your poison?"
     
  13. mrieder79
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    mrieder79 Not a ground squirrel

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    Although, here in the States bartenders usually stay behind the bar. Not sure how it is in Mexico, though.
     
  14. IHaveNoName
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    IHaveNoName Active Member

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    Give us the rest of the scene, and we can give you a better idea of what to say. Although I have to agree with mckk - unless it's really important that he do something besides "walking over to the table", just keep it simple.
     
  15. zoupskim
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    zoupskim Contributing Member Contributor

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    "The bartender slunk over, flipping a notepad open lazily as he approached."
     
  16. EJ Byrum
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    EJ Byrum New Member

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    As was his normal style, the bartender shouldered his way past the noisy patrons and came to rest at our table. With his elbows propped against the sticky table-top he leaned in and uttered, "what'll it be?"
     
  17. JLT
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    JLT Active Member

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    If he's energetic, "trotted over." If the place is crowded, he "made his way over." If he's not one to be rushed, "ambled over." It just depends on how important it is to convey either the bartender's attitude or the surroundings.
     
  18. ToeKneeBlack
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    ToeKneeBlack Contributing Member Contributor

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    At the risk of sounding stereotyped:
    The bartender marched to their table and asked, "What'll it be, hombres?"
     

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