Saturday, April 25, 2020

Decriptive Writing With Specificity

We strengthen all of our writing by using descriptive details: even more so with specificity.

Our goal is to grow our observation skills, both specific and general. Being observant is essential for all writers; it creates relatable writing and gives the texture of reality. So, in this we are building our descriptive muscles and research skills.

To build up our descriptive writing:
  • We use detail to express areas of importance; big picture, specific purpose, or differentiation,
  • We use words that are vibrant, essential, and focused,
  • We use metaphors, similes, and comparisons to tell the story,
  • We use sense words and articulate a picture,
  • We stay on point and write economically

Research is involved for our fiction or non-fiction projects.
Here are a few points to consider:

  • Is the setting a place you have traveled or lived? Is it from a life experience? If so, a lot of your work is done, it’s relatable because you’ve been there. You know the landscape, the business environment, the social makeup.
  • Consider writing in real time, describing the scene in such a way to bring your reader along, present for the journey. Describe what you see from where you are to develop the scene.
  • What’s the time-period, which century? Descriptions will vary according to the time; i.e. street lighting by gas lamps or bulbs, roadway construction, metropolis or rural location, east or west coastline, piper-cubs or jet stream travel.
  • Be willing to adjust your project plan as you go. Is it reachable or does it need revision?

Need ideas?
  • Use life experiences and pull short sections to launch your story,
  • Use one word prompts to free write and spark ideas,
  • Where is your favorite place? Is it a beach town, or mountain village? Start there and chose the best memory or daydream,
  • Books like “Where Do You Get Your Ideas” by Fred White, published by Writer’s Digest, could be just the thing to help launch your project.

Previous Post links in this series—Descriptive Writing for Fiction and Non-Fiction:
1)    Make it Personable & Tangible:
2)    Make it Realistic:

Deborah Lyn Stanley is an author of Creative Non-Fiction. She writes articles, essays and stories. She is passionate about caring for the mentally impaired through creative arts.
Visit her writer’s website at:
Visit her caregiver’s website and read the Mom & Me memoir at:
Facebook: Deborah Lyn Stanley, Writer

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Heidiwriter said...

Very good tips, Deborah, thank you!

Karen Cioffi said...

Deborah, excellent tips to help writers broaden there descriptive writing. I use a lot of the tips you mentioned in my writing! Thanks for sharing!

Deborah said...

Thank you Heidi and Karen, I appreciate you commenting.

Terry Whalin said...

Deborah Lyn,

Thank you for these great reminders about how we can strengthen our writing with more descriptive words.

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Linda Wilson said...

Hi Deborah, I enjoyed your post, thank you. Description is one of the joys of writing for me. With children's stories, description needs to be brief and pertain to your main character--her observations, his maneuvering through terrain, mountains, the ocean, etc. I particularly enjoy describing characters and remember in one of my creative writing courses learning that the villain can have greasy, slicked-back hair, warts on her nose, etc. which are hints that this is a bad character. I'll look into the book you suggested. It sounds interesting.

Suzanne Lieurance said...

Hi, Deborah,

Nice post. It's always better to use specific details. They are what really bring a piece to life for readers. Thanks for reminding us.

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