Tuesday, April 05, 2016

D is for Description

Description is a vital part of writing. It's also the most likely place to lose your readers, if you drone on with multiple paragraphs of dry description. I've put down books myself for many reasons, but the most common one seems to be too much description, not enough action.

How then do you get the balance just right...not enough description to put the reader to sleep, but not too little description so your reader says, "Huh?"

Today's deck is the Silver Witchcraft Tarot. Here are a couple of sample cards from the deck:

Images courtesy of Aeclectic Tarot 

The card I drew is the Ace of Chalices. It shows a night scene with a large silver chalice pouring out water into a lake, the full moon hanging overhead. I interpret this to mean, your imagination is like the full chalice--you have an infinite number of descriptive words and phrases at your command. The full moon also reiterates how many options you have. But you don't have to empty your imagination each time you need to describe something. Like the moon changes phases from full to half to crescent to none, your descriptions should be similarly varied. Sometimes you want a leisurely, length description to set the tone. But other times, less is definitely more. Picture the chalice pouring out description...how much is just right?


Tamara Narayan said...

Sometimes you can sneak in descriptions when your characters move, speak, or think. It's a challenge for sure.

Elizabeth Delisi said...

It sure is a challenge, Tamara. Thanks for visiting and posting!

Catherine said...

I personnaly like when chapters alternate between one with a bit more description, and one with more actions. So I feel the characters have time to breathe (me included) before diving into action! But it's a challenge for sure!

Elizabeth Delisi said...

Absolutely, Catherine! The "right" amount of description can be a lot or a little, but it has to work with the story and not bring it to a halt.