Ah yes, descriptions. All you bibliomaniacs must be sedentarily seated on the brink of the cliffside that is your furniture for perching your cloth-riddled gluteus maximus', the subtly delicate yet vibrantly coarse cuticles of skin along your heightened, velvet-like cheekbones mantled in thick, dulcet, mellifluous perspiration that indeed proclaims the insufferable labours and cruelty of penmanship.
Didn't quite understand what that above paragraph said? Let me simplify it:
Descriptions. You must be sitting. And sweating.
Oh? What was that? Too simple? Too confusing and forward?
Well, perhaps they were just both examples of poorly written descriptions!
A lot of people have requested this chapter. A lot of people have complained about descriptions in general. Honestly? I'm with you guys. Descriptions are hard. You don't want to throw in too many descriptions and bore your reader because, gosh, we don't want 200 pages about the school--we want the dragon to hurry up and eat somebody! We want the ants to go take over the world! We want the toenails to win America's Got Talent! Stop telling us what the protagonist looks like in the mirror!
And, yet, we also don't want our readers to be imagining the whole story as if it is all occurring in a blank, white box. We want to immerse them. We want them to visualise it all. We want them to really see and feel the mood, tone, and tension.
So, yeah. You're going to need some description in your book.
Well, how do we do that?
The first thing you need to know: description is still subjective. In fact, I would argue that it is one of the points in writing that divides so many reviewers. I often review/judge awards on this platform, and there are some true award fanatics out there. I always end up seeing the same stories entering so many awards across the platform.
However, I never judge the same genre if I see the same entries. Instead, I do get to see what other judges have to say about the books. Sometimes, a book that I think has just gone too far with description is loved by their new judge, who just adores the flowery language and slower pace. Other times, when I have told stories that they need more description because we are flying a medieval fantasy world but all the description I got was "there's a lot of sand", there's another judge saying that they love how quick-paced the story is and thinks that the sand is all the description they need.
So, the bad news?
You're always gonna have a hater.
The good news?
You will also have some fans!
What you want to do is maximise the fans and minimise the haters. To do that, you need to make your descriptions as accessible as possible. You need them to be purposeful, unique, and engaging.
How do we do that?
Let's dive into it! Let's play a game.
Imagine you are in a relationship. With the love of your life. Harry Styles, a BTS member, Taylor Swift, the boy next door, your childhood sweetheart or, if you are desperate, me.
Now, imagine your partner is wearing something they just bought. They love it, but they are feeling a bit self-conscious about it. They ask you what you think of it.
And you say, "Good."
Trust me--your partner ain't going to feel very reassured! Neither are your readers, if you describe your story with that same energy.
YOU ARE READING
101 Writing Tips from an Exhausted ReviewerRandom
I've been reviewing stories on Wattpad for a while now and, boy, has that been a journey. Your stories have made me gasp and squeal. Your stories have made me laugh and cry. But, from time to time, your stories have made me cringe. In commemoratio...