“Soon after the teacher Writing left, I saw students rush outside the classroom as if there’s was a Black Friday sale and they had to race for grabbing the best deal or a zombie apocalypse just broke out in there and they needed to run for their lives. I was still sitting at an empty desk, surrounded by empty chairs, blinking a lot as if the act would stop all the thoughts cramming in my skull – punching each other on the face.
Everyone had finished migrating from one classroom to another; the school was quiet. And I was still there fighting my thoughts, wondering how I would break this news to my mother. I failed; I can’t believe that I failed the one subject I thought I was so good at.”
See what we did here? Descriptive writing has the ability to bring stories to life. A great description can conjure the image of a chaotic school hallway, flickering candlelit dining room or cold-breezy night walk.
Okay, but what descriptive writing really is?
Essay writers UK explains descriptive writing is a style of writing used to illustrate a character, setting or event in a manner that seems life-like to the readers’ mind. This is an effective literary technique to bring stories to life. Well-written descriptive stories can draw the readers in, get them hooked to your story from the beginning till the end, like how a toddler clings to a new toy.
Do you want your readers to have the same reaction? Do you want them to stick to your essay like a hypnotizing swirl? If yes, read on and discover effective tips to polish your descriptive writing and let your professor and readers know how much you’re capable of!
1. Cut the obvious!
Newbie writers often find themselves using the most predictable and obvious words to describe something, for example, “the green grass was as fresh as ever, I laid down with my head on the rucksack, adjusting my vision to the sunlight seeping through the white-fluffy clouds.”
What is wrong with this sentence? You may ask. Well, there’s nothing wrong with it, technically. It’s just that when someone hears the word “grass”, they picture it green and “white and fluffy” for “clouds.” We guess there’s no need for such adjectives! Words like these can make your writing look predictable and unimpressive.
Surprise your readers with something unexpected; it could be a poetic metaphor, simile, analogy, anything. And if you can’t think of any, just go with the simple description, like “I laid down on a fresh field of grass.”
2. Use unique and unpredictable words
Let’s face it; there’s no fun at predictable writing. “It’s raining today” okay, now what? “It’s hot outside” yeah, we can see that on our weather app.
Simple is good, but it’s not interesting! Once your writing is free from the predictable words, you will have plenty of room to sprinkle some unique and surprising words. This will make your writing piece memorable to your readers. For instance, if you want to describe bad weather, write “angry clouds,” “the stormy night,” “a revengeful sun,” or “cheerful Sunday.”
But isn’t it a bit difficult?
Um… not really! Look, we are not asking you to create new adjectives or words! You just need to brainstorm some common adjectives, fuse them with unique words, and you’re good to go.
Take a note of sensory details
“Show, don’t tell” is what people say when describing descriptive writing. But the question is how? While the concept sounds pretty intimidating, the technique is pretty simple! You only have to engage your readers with five senses (sight, hear, taste, touch, and smell).
Hey, but we are just writers!
Yeah! While moviemakers have a microphone and camera to play with five senses, we writers have words! And believe us, they are enough to make your readers wander into a place they have never been, a dish they never tasted, a scent they never smelt and the sound they have never heard before!
Enrich your content with specific details that appeal to readers’ five senses. It will bring your characters and stories to life and make them feel engaged and more attractive.
-“The grass glistened like shining ornaments after the rain.”
– “The red sun sets under the sea as if the devil is peeking behind it.”
-“Her voice is as painful as a car screech.”
-“She wakes up by the melody of wind chimes.”
-“His every word felt like a sharp knife piercing through my heart.”
-“The guilt felt like a giant lump on my throat that I am trying hard to engulf.”
-“your room smells like someone died in here.”
-“A strong aroma of vanilla jolted my nostrils; as I entered the house, I knew mom was baking my favourite cake.”
-“The croissant melts like cotton candy in my mouth.”
-“It tastes like stale chicken.”
Make use of figurative language
Literary devices like similes, metaphors and analogies come in handy while describing something. It gives a creative edge to your writing, making it exciting and unique to the readers. You can also use allusions to pop culture or any historical references. For example, He spent all his day at a gun shop, as if the ‘winter is really coming.”
Figurative language allows writers to go beyond the literal definition and develop a unique way of describing things. For comparison, similes (using “as” or “like”) or metaphors (saying this is something else, e.g., Mountains are covered up with a white blanket of snow.”). Using these techniques can help create an instant picture in your readers’ mind. Other types of figurative language you can use is Onomatopoeia, which uses words to describe a sound of something (e.g., “the car screech”) and hyperbole, which uses exaggeration to make a point (e.g., “it is the worst movie I have ever seen”).