Wednesday, 4 November 2015

NaNoWriMo: D is for Description

Hey! Are you doing National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)? Follow me this month as I work through the alphabet of great writing tips, from creating ACTION to getting into the ZONE. 

Need a writing buddy? Email me at or comment in my daily posts. We can inspire each other to put down those daily word counts. My goal this year: 5,000 words.

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The stars were strung together like poetry, punctuated with the face of the full moon.
Now that’s some great DESCRIPTION, right?  (Not bad if I do say so myself…) 
Anyway, obviously “D” is for description, an important part to any book.

If you’re following the other rules, like avoiding ADVERBS and creating great CHARACTERS, the description part can be fun.

The important thing to remember is that you don’t have to describe everything. You just want to paint a picture of the scene using a few key words. There are a couple of tricks to this.

1. DETAIL (Look, another “D” word.) Try and be specific, where possible. That’s what will bring the scene to life. Don’t just say the ground was littered with garbage. Tell the reader what the garbage is. For example: Crumpled paper, faded candy wrappers and rusted tin cans littered the ground. I bet you get a good sense of what the scene looks like just from that.

2. Use the 5 senses. You know what I mean—taste, smell, touch, sound, and sight. You don’t have to use ALL of them in one scene, but it’s a good idea to use at least one. Don’t always rely on sight, though. That one’s easy.

Okay, let’s look at this description for a fall scene.

Mindy and Samuel crept through the dark forest. Their feet crackled on the dry leaves, as noisy as fire crackers in the otherwise quiet. Mindy rubbed her arms and shivered but she couldn’t decide if it was from the cool breeze that blew through the trees or the fear lodged in her throat.

So…what senses did I use? Can you pick out the specific details that make the paragraph come to life?

Your turn! I gotta jet.

Tune in tomorrow for “E”—it’s EXCITING!

— Chase Superman Duffy

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