Over the weekend, I realised something about the way I write.
I like description in books, sentences where the setting is detailed with beautiful words and compared to beautiful things. Such as, ‘The grey clouds in the sky above appeared like folded silk’. It’s pretty and I like it, a great way to get across what needs to be said in an elegant way.
And although I can write description like that (as detailed above), sometimes I forget 😀
I realised it’s because I write from deep within my character’s view point. I would instead say how my character perceived a scene, and if he didn’t know what folded silk looked like, I wouldn’t write it. The reader might know what silk was, but what if my character had never seen it?
Therefore I end up writing descriptions of settings in a way that my character would recognise it. So, say that my character had lived all his life on the streets, that grey sky would now be likened to, ‘Plumes of dust that bellowed up from the gutters’.
Am I making sense? 😀
I don’t think there is a wrong or right way to write description, it’s just an observation I made about my writing, and it got me thinking if I should write so deep within the perspective of a character. I am writing for the reader, after all, and most readers know what folded silk would look like, so does it really matter that my character wouldn’t? Or would it help a reader understand a character further if they described their surroundings in such a way?
But I do think this method might work well for different character perspectives. If you are using multiple character POVs, then the different way the characters survey a scene and describe would help the reader connect and understand each character individually- one might notice the green of the trees in a forest, another might only see the dark shadows that lingered within.
Or, maybe I am just over-thinking this as I usually do!
Description is something I think on a lot; I know I have to include it, but the way I write it into my book needs to suit the story and character. For example, in Heart of the Arena, I didn’t describe much after the initial setting, because it was supposed to feel monotonous. But when Sabina is put into a room that she hasn’t seen before and I added a vivid description, it stands out more to the reader, as it would Sabina herself.
Do you use description as a writing tool? How do you go about writing it? Do you have any tips for writing description?
Also, I did an interview over at Furious Unravelings (it was such great fun :D), check it out if you have the time- http://furiousunravelings.wordpress.com/2014/06/07/miladys-book-club-welcomes-mishka-jenkins/
Word Count: 17,687 (+2670- since Friday)
Status of Fourth Manuscript: Writing first draft.
Books read: 1/4
June eBook review: Book chosen. Reading.