The Blog of John Hewitt

Six Quick Tips for Writing Descriptions

  • Close your eyes and try to recreate the image in your head.
  • Remember that people have five senses. Don’t just rely on visual description.
  • Adjectives should describe, not evaluate. Describing skin as smooth or tan is better than describing it as pretty or perfect.
  • Don’t over-describe things. A description should enhance the story, not drag it to a stop.
  • Don’t describe things that don’t matter. If you spend a paragraph discussing a minor character’s mustache-grooming ritual, it had better be important to your story.
  • Draw your descriptions from real-life memories.