You’d better not include it in your story. Because don’t you know? Kids can’t focus anymore long enough to read it. They’ll put your story down and move on to their video games.
I’m not so sure.
Along with telling and backstory, description is another aspect of writing that has been banned. As in beginner writers fear to put more than one line of it anywhere on a page. Or they don’t know any better and they have pages and pages of description that aren’t relevant to the story.
What I’ve learned about description:
- When I describe something it should be in proportion to its importance to the story.
- I don’t need five sentences of description every time I introduce a character. Instead, weave it in through out the action and dialogue.
- Description helps to set the mood of a story.
- Description brings my story into focus.
- Description or showing the details makes my story world believable. Think Hogwarts.
- Description is more than what a person or place looks like.
- Word choice in description should reflect the main character’s pov or narrator.
- Description offers a great opportunity to plant clues, mislead the reader, add to the emotional impact of a scene, or add symbols of your theme.
So, the trial is over. Telling, backstory, and description can throw off their black capes and masks. They aren’t the villains. They’re your friends.
Analyze books you love to see how the authors managed these aspects of writing. Some books require more or less depending on the audience, genre and effect you want.
Do you have any tips for description? Are there other aspects to writing you feel have been given a bad reputation?