Painting a picture with a thousand words.

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14 views

How to describe someone who's thinking “Give me a break”

This is a very specific question, but I have been running into it a lot. For example, my main character has a secret and she wants her friend to cover for her. He confronts her and says, "Spill it." ...
4
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2answers
86 views

How do I get rid of overused words in my story?

I did a word frequency analysis on my story. Unsurprisingly, the most over-used words often corresponded to passages where I was lazy with my description. I'm tackling my over-used words "laughed" ...
15
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4answers
2k views

Confusing writing in order to show how character is falling asleep - is it OK?

Generally, writing something confusing is not good. On the other hand, a writer should show rather than tell. (Generally.) What I'm trying to do is imitate the way one's thoughts get all muddled ...
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1answer
22 views

Do you capitalize the names of governments in a story?

I know that names of countries, states, cities, and counties are always capitalized, but what about governments and organizations? In my novella there are basically 2 sections of space, and each have ...
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6answers
3k views

Is it important to describe how the characters are dressed?

One thing that I never mention in my stories is how the characters are dressed. Well, except when they are being described for the first time, when the main character first meets them. How important ...
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4answers
86 views

How do i describe a vampire from the perspective of someone who has no idea what they are?

The concept of my story is that i would rewrite the story of the first ever vampire in a medieval setting, and from two perspectives, one from the vampire's friend and brothers in arms, and the other ...
3
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2answers
101 views

How to write a scene that needs a lot of detail without falling into purple prose?

I understand the "only describe what is necessary" rule. If a character's appearance is important, I'll describe it in moderation. But what if I'm writing a scene that needs a lot of description? What ...
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2answers
84 views

Description: How to apply an adjective to a list of nouns without seeming redundant?

For example, in the case of this sentence: I drove past the empty stables and servant's quarters, and after another quarter mile I entered a very large circular driveway. Is it implied that ...
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5answers
732 views

Writing about extreme trauma

I've just written a chapter in which one of my protags witnesses her entire family massacred during an invasion of her home city. This is obviously an extremely traumatic and horrifying event, and in ...
3
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5answers
2k views

Who can help me to describe the text line from my story in slow motion?

This here is a line of my story: As we were in the middle of our conversation, I saw a blinding light heading straight for us, followed by an abrupt honk. Mom screamed as if she saw a ghost, and ...
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3answers
102 views

Whether to describe personality of a character or let the readers deduce it based on the actions

I am facing this situation where description of the personality of a character is quite important. Is it good to describe the personality traits or shall I let the readers deduce it based on the ...
4
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3answers
155 views

How to describe a diverse set of characters without falling into purple prose or exoticism?

In my setting, a city was founded by people from all over the world, and developed in almost complete isolation (long version here). The story in itself starts several generations after the foundation....
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1answer
61 views

Sentence openings variations to avoid repeating determiners and pronounces

I have a question regarding sentence openings in English language. When I write most of my sentences start with determiners and pronouns (personal and posessive). This gets repetative quickly. For ...
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2answers
83 views

Describing a large scale battle in a science fiction/fantasy novel

In my novel, there is a large scale battle involving several factions, tens of thousands of fighters, and is a defining part of the book, as it lasts for a good deal of the novel. As I wrote it, I ...
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6answers
1k views

How to introduce a world that's alien to the reader

I'm writing sort of a space-opera and I was wondering what would the best way to explain everything about the world to my readers. The story is kind of a political intrigue, and it would be very easy ...
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3answers
66 views

Scene descriptons?

If one is describing a gala ball, what level of detail of the room is considered appropriate? For example, if the ball is a lavish one, is it appropriate to include the table settings (conical red ...
1
vote
1answer
77 views

writing about what you don't know?

I am a strong believer in writing what you know. Everything I write is at least partially based on something that I have experienced. My problem is that for plot reasons, I need one of my characters ...
0
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3answers
72 views

How do you describe someone approaching and calling out at the same time without using different font sizes?

So i have this As Fate's worry grew and grew something drew her attention to a moving star in the sky. it's light got bigger and appeared to be falling to her "...
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2answers
41 views

Describing the differences between languages

To help create descriptive differences in the way my characters talk I am looking for a list of how each language sounds. For example the German language has lots of clusters of consonants, and could ...
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2answers
64 views

Should one Infodump the reader when a new environment of a fictional world is introduced? [duplicate]

When a writen story is set in a fiction world or when a character changes locals to an environment that may be vastly different to what was introduce/what they would know from real life (ie. going ...
2
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3answers
361 views

Can you specify camera angles in your screenplay?

So I guess camera action is up to the director. Would I ever be allowed to pan if it is important? Would I not be able to pick certain angles? If I can, what would be the best way to specify --for ...
2
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5answers
121 views

How do I avoid tradeoffs with showing vs. telling? [closed]

I learned early on (as most writers have) "show, don't tell," which I agree with for the most part. However, I've found many situations in writing when I'd start to write a statement in tell, catch ...
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3answers
3k views

Is the opening of this story intriguing, “dark” and smooth?

Disclaimer: I'm not an Native English Speaker. This is my fifth attempt of writing a short story (the previous ones are set in the same "universe" as this one). I would like to know if the reader ...
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4answers
106 views

Different ways to say “I looked”?

I find myself overusing phrases like "his eyes flickered to (object/person)" and "he shifted his gaze to (object/person)". I use the words 'eyes' and 'gaze' a lot to describe what the character is ...
4
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5answers
223 views

How to describe people from the 'eyes' of a blind person?

I am currently working on a fantasy novel that is set in medieval times. I created my world, started to write, and then bumped into a big problem. My MC is blind (along with others of its race) and I ...
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9answers
2k views

What's Essential In A Combat Scene?

I've just been reading a bunch of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files books. Although they were the most enjoyable read I'd had in ages I always found myself skimming long segments that described involved ...
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9answers
3k views

How do I write about nerdy concepts without sounding like a tryhard?

How would one express nerdy gobbledygook without sounding like a technical tryhard? For instance, if I were to explain the backstory of something and it perhaps contained the word electromagnetic or ...
2
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4answers
171 views

Help describing dogs' physical appearance and movement

I'm writing a story about a group of dogs, mongrels mostly. I would like help finding the correct vocabulary to describe their physical appearance. Remember that, been mongrels, I can't say simply "he ...
2
votes
1answer
169 views

How do I write in the language of a strict, serious character without using too much exposition?

I am working on a series of short stories and am having trouble bringing out the characteristics of one of my characters in descriptions and in his dialogue. My story is set in South Korea. One ...
2
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2answers
226 views

First conversation scenes I've written (looking for errors, conventions, and improvements according to writing standards)

I would like to know if I'm doing something wrong (according to writing standards) in the following conversation and how to improve it to help readability, quality and feeling (making it more ...
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2answers
590 views

Chopped sentences with too many conjunction, and repeating the subject again and again

I have tendency to write chopped sentences with too many conjunctions, repeating the subject again and again. I don't want that but I'm not skilled in English. For example how do write the following ...
3
votes
2answers
182 views

How Can I Effectively Develop Fictional Characters

So, I'm trying my own attempt at writing and I keep having trouble with developing my characters. Are there any effective methods of developing fictional characters? It can just be a small idea or ...
2
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3answers
80 views

How to «show» an irrelevant detail without expressively «tell»?

Here is the environment of my short story: the adaptation of film noir into literature. The characters in the story are David Lynch's Rabbits and I can't find how to introduce them. In the David Lynch ...
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3answers
255 views

Why do writers sometimes use so much description?

Why do many writers use a lot of description when presenting a character or a scene? Is this a writing tradition? Many characters in a book have been described in minute detail , in some ways ...
5
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2answers
122 views

Any helpful tips on how to, better use description in my writing?

I feel as if, the novel I am writing will have a great plot and I have some creative ideas on where to go with it. My only concern is my ability to develop description through out my story. Any tips ...
3
votes
1answer
107 views

Repeating the appearance of the main character in every book

I don't know if this just happens to be a thing that's common in the books I read as a kid, but there was always that bit, in the beginning of every book in the series, where the main character(s) ...
2
votes
2answers
130 views

On mastering the art of writing descriptive passages on certain weather conditions

It is, in my opinion, a difficult task to describe certain weather conditions (e.g., an overcast sky, the falling rain, the storm, the rising of the rainbow, the falling of the snow, etc.) effectively....
6
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7answers
5k views

In what order should I describe a setting?

For instance I'm describing the park of an art museum in a foggy day. I'm not sure if I should start with the fog, wind, grass, threes, walking paths, buildings, stairs or something else. Is there a ...
31
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8answers
1k views

When is it okay to tell?

One of the major mantras of writing fiction is "show, don't tell". Is it ever okay to tell? When?
7
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4answers
744 views

What's the difference between purple prose and vividly descriptive writing?

Elements of Style describes purple prose as "hard to digest, generally unwholesome, and sometimes nauseating." In short, it's ornate, contrived and breaks the narrative. There's plenty of advice on ...
0
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1answer
138 views

How do i describe this change in voice?

In this Video, the girl, Seth, at 0:35 transforms and her voice changed along with her transformation. I am trying to describe something similar, the physical change i can describe just fine however ...
3
votes
2answers
146 views

Is there a systematic overview over the approaches of describing a physical object?

If one tries to describe sth. very concrete, like a house, for instance, one could try it with different approaches: describing the very physical attributes: the house is 5m wide, 5m deep and 5m ...
8
votes
6answers
6k views

Is it better to describe the main character's physical appearance early on in the story?

I'm writing a novel, and I just realized I don't describe be main character's appearance until Chapter 3 (each chapter is 1500~2000 words long and there are 25 chapters in total). I do mention that ...
2
votes
2answers
751 views

What are some rich but respectful ways to describe various skin colors?

Say I have a kid's book with children of varying skin tones: a boy with British/Germanic background, a girl with Indian parents in the middle point of Indian skin tones, a girl with a Germanic ...
6
votes
5answers
309 views

Am I breaking the “show don't tell” rule in the following passage?

Then, as if sensing my presence, the girl turned around. She looked young. Probably sixteen or seventeen. She had long black hair, crimson red lips, and a skin so pale it made me wonder whether ...
0
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1answer
65 views

Is the following analogy of natural selection effective and clear?

I'm writing a scene where one of the characters is explaining the process of natural selection: “Think of it as a beach full of crab holes of various shapes and sizes, and with little pebbles on ...
4
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3answers
148 views

When to be specific and when to let context fill in the holes?

Some examples: Half-crouching, I went over to the railing and pointed my flashlight down (to the ground). It was approximately a two-storey fall. Not incredibly high, but high enough to kill a ...
3
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5answers
212 views

How can i learn the name of a colour to use in a description?

I am trying to describe this character Source her attire is pretty easy to describe, Purple and Gold (while it looks yellow she addressing herself with majestic plural so gold would be more ...
0
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1answer
11k views

How to write a polite quotation request email? [duplicate]

Good day! I'm working at Sales Dept. in a manufacturing enterprise. Lately my company strategy is to find other suppliers to have more competitive prices and I appointed to do this task. But I make a ...
2
votes
1answer
96 views

Does this text flow smoothly (description of suicidal thoughts)?

So how did this animal suicide thing start? Ironically, it began with my own death wish. But why? I had perfect health, friends and family who cared about me, plus I had just been admitted into ...