Let me start out by saying that I loathe writing description. With the passion of a thousand hot suns. Or perhaps the fiery burning fury of a formerly quiet toddler whose favorite toy has been yanked away by another child yelling, “Mine!”
I can write an entire scene of a story with the characters being in a vacuum, unmoored from time and place. And if I go back into the story to try to add description, I try to find things the character can be doing. Picking up a glass, fiddling with something, playing with their hair…to the point where it becomes more of a tick and distracting to the reader than nice, quiet ambiance that sets the character in a time and space.
I’m not sure why it’s so hard for me. I wonder if it has to do with my not being very visual. I have difficulty “seeing” faces in my head or picturing places. I don’t see very well in my own life, due to my glaucoma and my bad eyesight. The visual picture isn’t all that pressing or interesting to me.
But I love the crackle of dialogue. I love plays on words. I love the right word at the right moment. And that sort of thing, I don’t have problems with. I don’t struggle with that at all.
But I do feel as if I need some description to balance things–to pull in a more visual reader.
What do you do? What kind of tips do you have that makes a description more powerful and interesting?
And for those who are interested, I found this little article about not using description in your writing. Of all the hundreds of articles out there that likely talk about how to better use description in your writing, and I found the one that talks about not using it. A bit of confirmation bias? *angelic smile*
I’d be interested to know your tricks and tips! Anything to get me past sentences like “He ran his hands through his hair.” every other paragraph.