Showing posts with label write description details. Show all posts
Showing posts with label write description details. Show all posts

Tips to Make Characters Real: Write Strong

 


Tips to Make Characters Real: Write Strong

Readers are looking for strong stories and narratives they can relate to; descriptive details are the driver. Readers want to meet our characters. It’s up to us to shape characters by describing the details of what they are doing, smelling, hearing, seeing, touching or tasting.

To make characters relatable and lively, choose the details that distinguish them. Ask, what makes that character catch attention? How can I give the reader more information that develops their impression of the character? Is he shy? How will I express his shyness, self-importance or anger?  Does she choose to wear a pantsuit or colorful huge flower beachwear? Describe how people react when they see or speak to him or her.

Bring the reader into the scene with emphasis. Does a fierce black dog charge him while rides his bike on the trail? Is a knock on the front door frightful and foreboding? How do people act when anywhere near his cigar smoke that chokes them? Oh, fresh baked bread at the coffee shop! Let’s go, s'il vous plaît!

Details will be brief if a character has a minor role in the story, but it may grow as the story unfolds.

I’ve heard about the fun practice of preparing a word basket (or jar) filled with scraps of paper—one word per scrap. The basket could become your go-to place for inspiring creative descriptions in a story or metaphor: paradox or poem. What words catch your attention? Grab it and add it to your basket. Consider sensory adjectives, strong verbs, and nouns. Here are some: flood, moon, glow, crack, sputter, knock, blossom, mirror, distort, dominate, negate, underpin, float, sink, water, precipice, or crag. Have fun; pull a random page from your dictionary to get started. My fav right now is s'il vous plaît.

Things easy to do— but best to avoid:
•    Beware of description dumps.
•    Traveling tangents—Stay on point.
•    Slowing down your story or narrative—Use whatever works for moving it forward.

Book suggestions for descriptive writing growth:
•    Understanding Show, Don’t Tell, by Janice Hardy
•    Make a Scene, by Jordan Rosenfeld
•    Word Painting, by Rebecca McClanahan

Earlier Post links in this series—Descriptive Writing for Fiction and Non-Fiction:
Tips for Character Driven Description: http://www.writersonthemove.com/2020/09/tips-for-character-driven-description.html

Senses & POV Tips:  http://www.writersonthemove.com/2020/07/senses-pov-tips-descriptive-writing.html

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: https://deborahlynwriter.com/   
Visit her caregiver’s website: https://deborahlyncaregiver.com/
Available on Amazon --- Mom & Me: A Story of Dementia and the Power of God’s Love
https://www.amazon.com/author/deborahlynstanley
Facebook: Deborah Lyn Stanley, Writer    https://www.facebook.com/deborahlynwriter/?modal=admin_todo_tour

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Tips for Character Driven Description

 

 

Tips for Character Driven Description: Fiction and Non-fiction

Our stories or narratives include characters, and are stronger by using descriptive details that drive and support the topic.

When we first meet a person, we get a sense of who they are and perhaps their occupation. That happens through details we notice; how they dress, how they talk, the way they move or how they treat others. My hubby and I walk each morning. Several other neighbors walk daily about the same time. I can often recognize a neighbor before I can see them clearly, because I recognize the way they walk. I bet you have this experience too.

Our readers need to meet our characters in the same way. It’s up to us to shape characters in our stories by describing the details of how our character talks, moves and dresses. Does she speak with an accent? Does he limp as he walks? Is she a casual runner or one training for an event? Does she wear a big floppy hat as she bikes with her fluffy puppy in her flowered basket? Our characters further develop the scenes we paint for our readers.

Choose details that distinguish your character. What makes that character catch your attention? What gives the reader more information about that character? Does he have body language that expresses shyness, self-importance or condescension?  What is she wearing, a business suit or sweats? You get the idea.

Now pull from the sense words we’ve talked about for: sight, sound, smell, taste, and texture enhanced descriptions.

If the character you are describing has a minor role in the story, the details would be brief. The waitress serving a cup of hot chocolate might be a sweet young college student with bouncy blonde hair. And, that’s all you mention initially because, you’ll weave in more description as the story or narrative builds.

We give more clues to the reader through:
1)    Describing the environment around a character’s occupation and living situation,
2)    Noting the way people react to him or her,
3)    Plus, everyone has an inner layer of history; the details we readily see are clues to a person’s life. Consider which outward signs history might create, and describe those clues as you build aspects of your character’s life.


Book suggestions for writers:
Keys To Great Writing, Revised and Expanded, by Stephen Wilbers
Word Painting, by Rebecca McClanahan

Earlier Post links in this series—Descriptive Writing for Fiction and Non-Fiction:
Write it with Senses and POV Tips: https://www.writersonthemove.com/2020/07/senses-pov-tips-descriptive-writing.html
Tips for Figurative Speech: https://www.writersonthemove.com/2020/08/tips-for-figurative-speech.html 
 
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: https://deborahlynwriter.com/   
Visit her caregiver’s website: https://deborahlyncaregiver.com/ 
Available on Amazon --- Mom & Me: A Story of Dementia and the Power of God’s Love
https://www.amazon.com/author/deborahlynstanley
Facebook: Deborah Lyn Stanley, Writer    https://www.facebook.com/deborahlynwriter/?modal=admin_todo_tour 

 

 

 


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More Research Tips



More Research Tips for Descriptive Writing Projects


We strengthen our writing by using descriptive details that match and develop the topic.
Today let’s talk more about research for descriptive writing.

Research like it’s a treasure hunt to find your perfect topic, or gathering information to expand an interest area. When you land on that topic, consider these points for fresh, active, and believable descriptions:

•    Pursue topics that resonate with you, and inspire you to write

•    Search out topical details, then write them in an organized way to provide the reader a visual pattern they can imagine

•    Be specific with factual details, always fact check to confirm the accuracy

•    Choose details that play a role in your piece, building its credibility

•    When working with a stationary subject—stay with the focus; its texture or its inherent qualities

•    Write to make the subject realistic & relatable

•    Use verbs that don’t need assistance from an adjective to convey action

•    Strong verbs can depict movement: storms, slings, rising, burst, sprawled, staggered, creak, squawk, crackle, shriek, clatter, tinkle, jingle, thud

•    Linking verbs do not convey action. They express a state of being and require an adjective to make sense. If not necessary, linking verbs cause clutter—avoid them

•    State of being—no action—linking verbs include: would, should, can, must, might, may

•    Consider using the narrative, first person point of view, as yourself—write what you see, hear, taste or smell. And, write those details in the same order you notice them.


Idea Categories to investigate and expand:
•    Transportation, information technology, art history
•    Social issues to champion: eldercare, childcare, education
•    Hero’s caring for others
•    Setting up a Website, a Business Platform and Branding
•    Social Media: evaluating and choosing the best platform for your industry, groups, & reaching readers often


Elevate your descriptive writing:
•    Use metaphors, similes, and comparisons
•    Sight, Sound, Taste, and Texture words to add dimension
•    Details that differentiate
•    Stay on point and write with clarity and economy


Earlier Post links in this series—Descriptive Writing for Fiction and Non-Fiction:
Make it with Specificity: https://www.writersonthemove.com/search?q=make+it+with+specificity
Write it with Research I: http://www.writersonthemove.com/2020/05/write-it-with-research.html


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: https://deborahlynwriter.com/  
Visit her caregiver’s website and read the Mom & Me memoir at: https://deborahlyncaregiver.com/
Facebook: Deborah Lyn Stanley, Writer    https://www.facebook.com/deborahlynwriter/?modal=admin_todo_tour




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Write It With Research

Write It With Research

We strengthen our writing by using descriptive details with specificity and authentic topics. Thus, we enter the zone of building our research and descriptive skills.

Observation skills are essential for every writer. Attentiveness leads to relatable writing.
Research assists observation gathering:

-Need to expand your topic with more details of interest?
-Lacking information for a particular project?
-Keep looking. Search books, magazines, articles and pose questions to a group of writers.
-Consistently qualify the sources you rely on.

Topical ideas can help guide your research and launch a story or essay:
1)    Current affairs compared to times and seasons of human history.
       a.    Transportation, information technology, art history
2)    Social issues to champion.
       a.    Children and music
       b.    Young and older exploring art through painting
3)    Present day hero’s—caring for others
       a.    A four-year-old boy that saves his Mom by dialing 911 for help
       b.    First Responders
4)    Unusual aspirations
       a.    A young girl dreams about auto racing and ultimately finds a way to do it
       b.    A hiker journeys the length of the Pacific Crest Trail

Have more Ideas? Please leave a comment.


Use life experiences?—add research:

    Can you pull a short period-of-time, like a move or relocation, or an event? Build on it by researching applicable situations of others.

•    Is the setting a place you have traveled or lived?

    Describe a scene in real time to bring your reader along for the ride, or use time-travel noting the differences of lighting, travel, rural or urban, and geography.

•    Is the scene at the shore of an ocean or lake resort? What are the sounds there? What did you buy for lunch, hot dogs smothered with chili? Describe how it tastes. Did you watch children chasing waves coming and going? Was it hot or rainy? How does the water feel? Slimy, muddy or clean?

Boost your descriptive writing with these elements:
•    Use detail to express areas of importance; big picture, specific purpose, or differentiation,
•    Use words that are vibrant, essential, and focused,
•    Use metaphors, similes, and comparisons to tell the story,
•    Use sense words to articulate a picture,
•    Stay on point and write with clarity and economy


Post links in this series—Descriptive Writing for Fiction and Non-Fiction:
1)    Make it Personable & Tangible: https://www.writersonthemove.com/2020/02/descriptive-writing-for-fiction-and-non.html
2)    Make it Realistic: https://www.writersonthemove.com/2020/03/descriptive-writing-make-it-realistic.html
3)    Make it with Specificity: https://www.writersonthemove.com/search?q=make+it+with+specificity

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: https://deborahlynwriter.com/  
Visit her caregiver’s website and read the Mom & Me memoir at: https://deborahlyncaregiver.com/
Facebook: Deborah Lyn Stanley, Writer    https://www.facebook.com/deborahlynwriter/?modal=admin_todo_tour





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Descriptive Writing - Make it Realistic


All our writing; be it stories, blog posts, essays, articles, or books are strengthened as we use descriptive details to engage our readers.

 

Our need and aim is to grow our observation skills in general and specific ways. These skills could be the most essential task for writers and is true for narrative pieces and stories. Further, it creates relatable writing. For this, we must build our descriptive muscles.

Tips for writing descriptively:
1.    Use sense words: sight, smell, sound, texture and taste, and paint a picture for the readers’ imagination. As the sensory detail flows, the reader forms a mental picture and is attracted to the piece.

2.    Brainstorm specific pictorial ideas using post-it notes or a whiteboard.

3.    Build a collage of photos from magazines or sketches.

4.    Use description to make your writing vibrant, essential and focused.

5.    Spend 10-15 minutes playing the scene in your own imagination and then write it.

6.    Descriptions of physical features and appearance will support the story.

7.    Boost interest by using comparisons, metaphors, and simile.

8.    Use detail to express items of importance: the big picture, a specific purpose, or significant points.

9.    Stay focused on the topic to avoid confusing the reader with non-essential wordiness.

10.    Writing descriptively doesn’t require writing more, but often less.

11.    Too many descriptions can slow down the story, use it with the purpose of slowing the piece or avoid it.


Quick checklist for description in a piece:
1.    Do we “see” a mental picture or impression?
2.    Do the words engage the senses, describe shape, or time?
3.    Does it form a larger picture for the story or narrative?

Rebecca McClanahan is the author of “Word Painting, The Fine Art of Writing Descriptively”.  This is my current read and her masterful use of descriptive writing is astounding. It’s worth checking out.

Descriptive Word lists help to recognize just the right word for the piece.
Helpful links:
* https://descriptivewords.org/
* https://grammar.yourdictionary.com/word-lists/list-of-descriptive-words.html

Wishing you all Wellness always! 
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: https://deborahlynwriter.com/  
Her caregiver’s website at: https://deborahlyncaregiver.com/
Facebook: Deborah Lyn Stanley, Writer    https://www.facebook.com/deborahlynwriter/?modal=admin_todo_tour


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Tips for Creating Subplots in Middle Grade Novels

by Suzanne Lieurance   If you’re writing a middle grade novel, you want to include at least one or two subplots. Subplots in fiction are sec...