Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Importance of a Well Written Desciption


Descriptions are important - they help set the stage for pivotal events by connecting the reader to specific places and times.  It is easy to fall back on generic representations. Example:  The night was dark.  The night was quiet.  But living in a rural area, nothing is further from the truth.  A summer night in the south is teaming with activity.  

Sitting on my deck, I was amazed at how noisy silence can be.  I was surrounding by a veritable symphony of sound:  crickets chirping,  frogs croaking, mosquitoes buzzing and dogs barking.  Lightening bugs were darting near the wood line, flashing their bottoms, hoping to attract a mate.  Bats were swooping overhead, their bodies looking like dark shadows against the waning light as they searched for dinner among a buffet of flying insects. Kit-Kat had sidled up beside me, stretched her body then rubbed against my leg before disappearing into the darkness.  See what I mean?  There's a lot going on out there in the dark...

Let's think about the air.  Is it heavy with humidity?  Or does it offer cooling relief from a hectic day?  Is the wind a gentle breeze? Or do you hear it howling in the treetops? Maybe the wind isn't blowing at all...  

How about the smell?  Is the scent of honeysuckle hanging in the air?  No? Maybe it's the smell of the steaks the neighbor is cooking, making your character dread the leftover pizza in the refrigerator or reminding him/her of how alone they feel...

By taking the time to immerse ourselves into our characters' experiences, our scenes will feel more authentic which will allow our readers to connect with our stories.