Haha, single word title here!
Yes, today’s post is going to deal with description. This is something that I struggle with, and hoping to try to help others who feel this way too.
It can be hard to picture a scene. I know. Believe me, I know. I don’t actually race cars (oh how I wish I did) so sometimes, describing scenes with them is a little hard. But there are ways to do it, even if you don’t do what your character does everyday.
- Talk to experts or people who are in the field you’re writing about.
Ok, so you’re writing about cops, racers, or just simple people like doctors and moms? Chances are, unless you do these things, you’re not going to know first hand experience about them. It doesn’t hurt to do some research. I talk to people about cars cause I know lots of people in my life who work on them. I live with a car parts junkie who works on all our vehicles and who works with his relatives. So when I’m doing car stuff, I have a few go to people.
Every day people is a little different. I’m not a mom, so I would have to do some research on what moms do everyday. (No seriously.) I mean, I wouldn’t go over the top with it, but still.
What I like to see in novels is to be realistic, but not to the point where you’re telling me the procedures to open heart surgery and making me faint on the floor.
- Thesauruses are here for a reason.
I’m going to have to go back in my next draft and follow this, because I’ve used basic words to describe actions. Truthfully, whole scenes need to be uprooted for this one, but take the time to do this! Using the same boring words will make the reader skim, and they might miss an important thing you’re trying to convey. You don’t want them to miss that.
- Picture it in your head. See if it’s realistic.
I can’t say this enough. If you’re trying to picture it and can’t, then you’re probably not being realistic about your scene. And this doesn’t just go with scenery. This goes with emotions, too. Emotions help depict tones of voices, actions, movement . . . and so on and so forth.
- Last but not least, beta readers are there as well to assist you.
Beta readers will be truthful, if you pick the ones that you value and know will be honest. They will help you when things need a little work and tell you which direction to go. Sometimes, we need another set of eyes to be able to help us see what needs a little improvement. But don’t take it the wrong way if someone doesn’t like something. Simply allow them to voice their opinion and move from there. They’ll definitely tell you if they can’t imagine something . . . at least, the ones I know do.0