Six impossible things

Posts Tagged description

Writing Basics: Description 2

When someone says “description,” most people think of static passages – a page telling the reader details about the current setting or background, or a paragraph about a character’s appearance. This isn’t the only way to approach that sort of description, though. It is often more memorable […]

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Basics: Description 1

Description is as much about what you choose to describe and when you choose to describe it as it is about how you describe it. Furthermore, there are really significant differences in how much description different readers like or can even tolerate, and no writer is going […]

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Descriptive details

When I was in grade school, one of the first writing assignments we got was to write a paragraph describing something, usually a single object. As I progressed in school, the assignments increased in length and complexity, from a single object to a room, from a room […]

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Designing Magic, Part 3 – Writing it

Once you have a magic system, whether it’s something that you just know feels right in the story or whether it’s something for which you have painstakingly laid out rules and structure, it’s time to actually write about it. There are three considerations that fall under “writing […]

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Leaving stuff out

The other day, I was looking over two different multi-book series, each of which is easily pushing a million words. Both are quite popular in their respective genres, but they are very different in their approach. Yet it could be argued that both writers make similar mistakes. […]

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Hollywood science

The trip continues; we have reached LA after a stop in Las Vegas (neither of us did any gambling, but we ate some great food and saw Cirque du Soleil’s Mystere). And in justice to my father, I have to point out that when he ran off […]

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Imperfect telepathy

Writing is not a visual medium, not in the way that photographs, paintings, or movies are visual. Yet there are readers and writers who think of it this way. It’s quite common for writers to describe “the movie in my head” or “seeing the scene and just […]

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Body language

Body language is one of those things that has to some extent become a code. “He shrugged” “She sighed” “I smiled” and so on have become almost like punctuation – nearly meaningless things inserted into a paragraph or a line of dialog to let the reader know […]

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Telling details vs. clutter

Another one of the truisms about writing that you hear a lot is “the power of the telling detail.” And it’s quite true; a single specific detail at exactly the right time can do more to evoke a world or a mood than pages of description, even […]

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Narrative Summary

Narrative summary is possibly the most flexible of the various ways of presenting a story. Narrative summary doesn’t necessarily tie the author down to chronological order, the way dialog and dramatization do, nor does it require a focus on one particular aspect of the story, as description […]

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