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Old 05-23-2014, 08:30 PM View Post #1 (Link) Your words, my colors
Demon Hunter (Offline)
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Hellloo, everybody! im back! for a while! Im sure at least Infinity_Man and Dabs are happy to see me... or they're groaning and rolling their eyes...
no one cares, so let's get started.



This is a sort of Elemental on Descriptions, a quick basic formula you might have already known forever, or maybe you are just finding out now. (In which case you should be duly grateful.)

First off...
Remember that descriptions are paintings for the mind. These pictures should be pleasing to you, yes, but try to imagine what the reader is seeing; are you using the right wording? is there any way the reader can see what you are seeing, or are you throwing a bunch of words down and hoping he gets the point?

Blend it in...
Big paragraphs of description have their places in books. Such as when your character is standing calmly and looking over a painting, say. But there is an economy to descriptions, and the aforementioned paragraph is a splurge. You want to give little pictures and details throughout your writing, threading it through the storyline, as the character walks, bit by bit. There are ways. It's tough, but nearly all writers have to go through struggles in effort to make their writing press-worthy.

Pretty basic. Now,

Here's the order...
Stumbling down the trails of beffudlement i tripped across this very helpful tip, and fell face first in grattitude. (Eeeeasy there, poet...)
You want to keep your reader interested? you want smooth writing? When describing, do this:
---- Describe the most shocking, gripping, or interesting detail first.
---- Describe the most important detail last.
Watch, and please tell me you get it:

The sheer size of Lochingham Castle caught Tushar off guard when he first rounded the woody bend, rendering him a gaping idiot to his surrounding elderly friends. When he finally got to studying the minor attributes of the great stone fortress, he realized with a jolt that the gonfalon heralding the castle's owner was not his own; rather, hanging over the portcullis was the sable lion rampant of his uncle, Tushar's sworn enemy.

This is good. As opposed to...

Rounding the woody bend to Lochingham Castle, Tushar emitted a severe execration: the gonfallon suspended over the iron portcullis depicted a sigil not his own, but the sable lion rampant of his cruel uncle. Looking up, he then considered the massive sizze of the stone fortress that had once...

Yeah, you get the point. I hope.

For nuts and bolts, see some of I_M's guides, including the word count guide. I'm sure I could add a lt onto this given time, but no one gives me time.

Thankyou, thankyou *takes a bow*

--- The Hunter.
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A Quick Reality Check
How to write Cliche Fantasy
ELEMENTAL: Characters.
  
						Last edited by Demon Hunter; 05-23-2014 at 08:33 PM.
					
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Old 05-24-2014, 04:14 PM View Post #2 (Link)
Spiders (Offline)
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Remember that descriptions are paintings for the mind.
I paused here, but I've been reading James Woods and his words leaped into my mind. I never think I'm painting when I'm writing; paintings are static, and a sure sign of amateur writing is when things aren't moving.

These pictures should be pleasing to you, yes, but try to imagine what the reader is seeing
Paused again; won't the reader only see what you give them to see? I worry about what my focalizer is seeing - it's their eyes that guide the prose, not the reader.

The advice on order makes a good point. But like most things, flouting the advice can also be beneficial; it depends on what you're doing. The last point of reference is also a good place to put important things, IMO.
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Old 05-30-2014, 08:55 PM View Post #3 (Link)
AdrenalinJunkie (Offline)
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I think the main thing I learnt about description on here is the whole thing about not using useless adjectives and adverbs. Like if you describe roses, "the lovely roses" isn't adding anything you didn't already know because roses are generally lovely. Or "she asked curiously", which is plain awful. Man, I used to write that all the time. Eurgh.

Totally agree with most of the stuff you're saying here, apart from that
"The sheer size of Lochingham Castle caught Tushar off guard when he first rounded the woody bend, rendering him a gaping idiot to his surrounding elderly friends. When he finally got to studying the minor attributes of the great stone fortress, he realized with a jolt that the gonfalon heralding the castle's owner was not his own; rather, hanging over the portcullis was the sable lion rampant of his uncle, Tushar's sworn enemy."
is rather to studded with adjectives for my taste. Seriously, what is "surrounding elderly friends" doing here? But anyways.
Originally Posted by Spiders View Post
paintings are static, and a sure sign of amateur writing is when things aren't moving.
I think Hunter's more saying it's like watching someone paint, instead of looking at a completed painting. I kind of like this description because when I just think of descriptive writing as describing events, my writing tends to lose focus and any kind of magic, whereas if you're painting a picture, you're focusing on the art of writing instead of the plot, which is good because it's description, not major plot turner. Or something.
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Old 05-31-2014, 06:00 PM View Post #4 (Link)
Spiders (Offline)
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I kind of like this description because when I just think of descriptive writing as describing events, my writing tends to lose focus and any kind of magic, whereas if you're painting a picture, you're focusing on the art of writing instead of the plot, which is good because it's description, not major plot turner. Or something.
I'm the opposite; if you think of style rather than substance when drafting, you may end up crafting a hollow shell. If you don't think of the plot, you can lose the plot and the focus of the story altogether. That's why so many adjectives and adverbs become obsolete; they don't actually move the story forward, and their contribution to it is not enough to permit them to slow the story down.

The 'art of writing' happens even if you don't want it to, and can be focused on beyond the first draft. But when you're telling the story, the most important thing is always the story.
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Old 06-01-2014, 08:24 PM View Post #5 (Link)
Demon Hunter (Offline)
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Go for it. I like Adrenaline Junkie's reply most, just because he has calvin and hobbs for his avatar. i literally had like 8 minutes to revisit ywo and write something, so you cant expect a pro's job. But i know Spiders has a good head on his shoulders, so if you have the time to actually understand what he says, go for it.
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"There are billions of normal people in the world... we don't need one more." - Joshua Lenz.

I will crit upon request, but... Acknowledge: Though my punches may be soft, i will not pull any.


Professional Artist. Musician. Singer. Downhiller. Magician. No, I'm not a grown up yet, but I would give it all to be able to write the way I want to.

A Quick Reality Check
How to write Cliche Fantasy
ELEMENTAL: Characters.
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