On Writing: Description

Today’s word count: 1029

NANTUCKET total word count: 34,988 words

I’ve come to the conclusion that I write quite fast. “Fast”, of course, doesn’t equal “well”, necessarily. But fast describes my writing well.

I was thinking about that today, and I realized why I write so quickly. When I write, narration, action and dialogue flow out of me, easily and smoothly.

Description, though? I leave a lot of description for the revision stage. I’m focused on getting my story down, and for me, at this stage it’s all about action and dialogue. Moving the story forward.

You know how in lots of the writing books they talk about those descriptive passages you need to weed out of your writing – all those adverbs and adjectives that need to be cut? I never get far enough with my descriptive writing for that to apply. Sometimes my writing reads almost like a script, except that I offer a little more narrative than a script.

I have this feeling I could use some practice in the description department.  Dorte, at DJs Krimiblog, has been posting wonderful writing exercises each week, and I’ve been thinking about doing the same thing. I have several books of writing prompts (“several” is such a good word, so capable of covering any number from three to way more than three; I’m inching towards the “way more than three” definition of the word around here) – none of which I’ve ever actually opened.

So I’ve been toying around with doing that. Opening these books. Doing some of the exercises (they wouldn’t count toward my word count, though). Giving myself the chance to practice writing description before I get NANTUCKET finished.

One thought on “On Writing: Description

  1. Too much description bores me; but it’s always hard to strike a balance. When I write, I get so addicted to tivial description, and it ends up wayward. So I have to rid my pages off it in the end. To me, dialogue is the hardest part. I wonder how you manage it.

    Linna’s last blog post..Digging to America by Anne Tyler

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