When writing a story, it can sometimes become difficult to convey the ideas in your head to the reader. This is why descriptions are necessary.
In my last post, I discussed three ways to describe what is happening in a story. This time, I will be stating three areas that deserve descriptive language.
Imagine you’re reading a book. There are two characters who are constantly speaking to each other. Now imagine that every time one character speaks, all that follows is ‘he said’ or ‘she said’.
Wouldn’t that get boring?
How confusing would it be if they were saying something sarcastically and instead of something like ‘she said sarcastically’ or “he could hear the sarcastic tone in her voice”, you just had ‘she said’?
Unfortunately, the reader is unable to understand what is happening unless you tell them or show them. For all they know, your protagonist just contradicted themself from earlier.
It is alright to use ‘he said’ and ‘she said’, but try to add descriptions to really explain the scenario.
Of course, there is another way to approach this. Instead of telling the reader that your character said something angrily, show them. For instance, “Rachel’s lips curled into a snarl as she spoke.” This shows the reader how she is feeling, without straight up telling them.
As previously mentioned, there are two ways to describe a scenario. By telling the reader, and by showing them.
Facial descriptions are quite handy at expressing how a character feels. Why say that they are sad when you can show it in their face. Unless they usually have a blank look, or they are trying to remain straight-faced, showing the reader how their face looks is quite effective at gaining their interest.
You don’t have to describe every feature on their face, something as small as their lips pursed or their nose crinkled or their eyes glossy is enough to convey the emotion your character is feeling.
Describing the senses is a great way to not only explain the scenario to the reader but to also evoke an empathetic response.
When you describe the smell of something, for example, the reader has the opportunity to apply their previous expose with that smell to your writing. For instance, the smell of fresh bread or of freshly grounded coffee can help the reader to understand the atmosphere surrounding the character.
With five senses to choose from; sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste, there is a perfect sense to use to describe the scenario.
And like facial descriptions, you don’t have to describe all the different senses. Sight may be the most common sense to describe, and sometimes that can be enough. But sometimes you can pair it up with sound or smell to increase the effect.
Those are my three most recommended areas that need descriptions. As always, if you have any tips in mind that you would like to have included in future posts, please feel free to comment them below or to message me on Twitter.