Showing posts with label essays. Show all posts
Showing posts with label essays. Show all posts

Descriptive Writing for Fiction and Non-Fiction

Make it Personable and Tangible

All of our writing, whether it be short stories, blog posts, essays, articles, or books are strengthened by using description details to engage our readers.

Descriptive sense words for sight, smell, sound, feel/texture, and taste, paint a picture for readers to enter the story. As long as the sensory detail fits the piece, the reader will form a viable mental image. The purpose of descriptive writing is to provide a written impression from which readers can easily form a mental picture.

Today we’ll talk about essays.
An essay is a non-fiction piece with categories that include expository, descriptive, persuasive or narrative. A descriptive essay is a genre of essay writing that describes an object, person, place, experience, emotion or situation. It can be a particular account of an event. We use sensory details, metaphors, analogy and simile to enliven the piece and help support the thesis.

•  Make it personable, tangible.
  Create the picture first in your own mind and your prose will follow with the details.
•  Details build the scene.
  We make the topic tangible by placing it in a setting.

Essay structure includes a thesis statement, core paragraphs regarding the topic, and a concluding paragraph to wrap the discussion and reaffirm the thesis. An essay can be as long as needed to express your message.

Advice we often hear is “Show, Don’t Tell”.
But a telling narrative also has its place. Telling could be the better choice when describing an unimportant detail, to summarize events that happen repeatedly, or to give context to a scene. Still, whenever it works, we want a detailed description to engage the reader and to move the essay or story forward.

Cultivate Writing Descriptively
Move It Forward

It’s time to gather lists of sensory adjectives to prime our reserves.
These links will help.


Magazine submissions for personal essays:

Contests for essay submissions:

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:   
See her caregiver’s website and her book for caregivers at:
Facebook: Deborah Lyn Stanley, Writer

Tips for Selling Your Essay - Magazine Pub series #9

Tips for Selling Essays to Magazines  ----   Should I submit a pitch or a draft?

The question of sending a full draft or a pitch varies from magazine to magazine. Follow your selected magazine’s guidelines and requirements for submittal, if possible.

Here are points of reference:
•    Literary journals customarily require full drafts for submittal.
•    If you don’t have clips of published essays, a good rule of thumb is to submit essays on spec, meaning in full draft form.
•    When your essay is difficult to convey in a pitch, send a full draft.
•    On a tight schedule? Get your pitch out there and buy yourself some time to draft it.
•    Some editors prefer to receive a pitch. Search the magazine’s website or place a call for the info.
•    If your essay topic is relative to breaking news, your best choice may be to pitch your idea.
•    When you’ve worked with an editor previously, a pitch may be all that’s needed to assign the essay.
•    Should your essay require in depth research and include interviews, pitching the idea may be best.

To grab your reader, compose the essay as you would a story with one theme, a beginning, middle, and end. Include dialogue, setting, and engaging description. 

You may choose to write a personal essay sharing a part of your life with others. Personal Essays connect and communicate to the reader they are not alone. As I worked through an essay about being emotionally sidelined during childhood I knew I was not alone and wanted encourage others with similar experiences. Writing a personal essay in first-person narrative is customary. 

Personal essays are just that: personal. You are telling true-life experiences that may also lead to discussing a subject about which you are passionate. These essays are public—it’s important to consider the subjects you would rather keep private for your journal alone.

** Last time we talked about getting a handle on our Copyrights. I’ve added a couple links you may find useful. 

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 web-blog: Deborah Lyn Stanley : MyWriter's Life .

Write clear & concise, personable yet professional.
Know your reader.
Use quotes & antidotes.

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