The Wonderment of Description
A rose from our garden.
As a writer, we want the reader to see what we’re seeing in detail, even if they fill in some of the blank spaces independently. We have the ability to enable the reader to immerse themselves in the location and time period that we have chosen for our story.
But it’s not just the sweeping descriptions of hair colour, stature or the various shades of blue of the sky that we look to convey. Viewing the tiny details such as nail polish colour, cushion covers, nets at the windows or the pottery on display in the kitchen, also matter. If we add a chip to the nail polish or pottery, it can change the perception of the reader, and speak volumes about the character or home environment.
As a writer, we must try and see the world through the eyes of a child to evoke the feelings of awe and wonderment. The shape of the protagonist’s tears, the type of wood a table is made from, how many water marks are dotted on the surface, to the texture and browning of a ceiling above a cluster of candles that are frequently lit.
Describing objects or the location in detail is another method for giving our fiction the reality it requires to hook and engage the reader, whether it takes place in the local pub or in outer space. All this enables the reader to place themselves alongside the characters in our books.
Sometimes we want the reader to start thinking for themselves, and so we deliberately leave blanks in our descriptions. We perhaps want them to see that a certain character is afraid, or not who they appear to be without using the actual words. We may describe their tone of voice or the odour emanating from their armpits to be subtly descriptive.
I always carry a notebook with me in case I see something I’d like to use in a current WIP. The way to describe the colour, smell, taste or texture of something may enter my mind in a flash, and I want to capture those words before i forget them again.
Enjoy seeing the world through renewed vision, it could just be what your WIP requires.
Happy Word Flow One & All