I’ve decided from time to time on this blog, in addition to sharing, teaching, pulling my hair out, and bemoaning the hardships of writing, I’m also going to talk about the things I love. So, you’ll see me talk about those things I HEART about writing. When you stop by my blog and just want a little inspiration, hit up the I Heart Writing category!
What I HEART ❤ About Writing…
Describing settings and scenery!
This is one of my favorite parts of writing: describing the surroundings my characters find themselves in. It’s a delicate balance. While you need to convey certain details to your reader, you also don’t want to write an entire page of mind-numbing description. Keep it simple, eloquent, short, and still manage to paint a scene–that’s the key. It can be difficult, but figuring it out is part of the process of creating art. Maybe that’s why I like it so much, because it’s a challenge to say enough but not too much.
It’s also important to remember when to use description. Usually, it’s only necessary when the surroundings are relevant to what your character is experiencing, or as part of the plot. It’s not a good idea to describe every room they walk into, or gives us the entire layout of the park they’re walking through when it has nothing to do with the story. I fully admit I often integrate cities and landscapes into stories, and make them important both to the character and the narrative, just so I can work on describing them. It’s literally one of my favorite things! Sometimes I do it well, or at least believe I do. Other times, it needs to be snipped in rewrites because it’s bulky and irrelevant.
One of the best inventions ever, in my opinion, is Google Street View. I can see places I’ve never been to, up close and personal, like I’m literally standing there. And that means I can describe them! I use it so often it’s practically one of my essential writing tools. It means I don’t have to restrict the settings of my stories, because if I need to clarify something I can just take a peek.
To brag a bit, my best friend told me one of the descriptions of Chicago from The Wicked City was the most accurate and stunning description of the city she’d ever read (we both love Chicago and visit often). In the book, it’s June’s first time ever in Chicago and she’s terrified of the city, and being trapped in it, for various reasons, thus it colors her view of it:
Chicago was a living metropolis, a brilliantly modern and majestically primeval creature breathing and teeming and issuing forth a steady cacophony of human noise. Under the stark winter light, the buildings loomed as monoliths, an overwhelming collection of glittering glass, gleaming steel, and earthy stone. At street level, the world was narrow and claustrophobic, life chugging along under the shadows of the great towers like thick blood pulsing through deep, dark veins.
It was beautiful and horrible at the same time. Like most great monsters.
I love writing descriptions! What do you HEART ❤ about writing right now?