Hope it's worth it to you.
Clever definition eh?
Well, I've picked up a few tricks and advice from others in my short time in the writing world. Seems I now have a way to pass them on to others.
You can still describe this in detail, but describe things based on their worth not in the whim of the moment (don't anaylise that statement :P ).
Next begs the problem of how much to describe
Detail, as noted, is important. But how much is too much? In my opinion, hopefully I don't get shot here, some older works including the Lord of the Rings go a little overboard in descriptions. It is my belief, and others it seems, that detail should be based on two things.
Number one, the pace of the scene.
If the scene you are writing is a fast paced action-packed scene don't bother with description at all! I say this to make the point. If a guy is sword fighting the enemy don't be like "The swords clashed above their heads. The tree to his right was a sparkling green on the left though the leaves on the opposing side had all died."
No one cares!
Once more this is distracting.
Now, that's not where I meant to go with that <_<
Oh yes, fast paced scenes require faced paced description. Simply said, don't use big, long, words and sentences to describe a racing cheetah. It will make the animal seem slower. Descriptions take the place of time. The longer the description the longer the time. Think of a movie.
The same goes for slow scenes. A snail crawling up a tree should not be penned simply as "The snail went up the tree."
NO! This is the scene where you get to use some vocabulary. Break out that thesaurus and look up words for slowly and describe the residue on the branches leaving a trail behind the creature. Get down into the grit of things and write.
I hope that made sense. I'm starting to get tired ;)
Number two is simply relevance to the story. Which has already been overly discussed (people will think I hate descriptions or something). Just write enough to set the scene, you can do this eloquently and with detail. But if it doesn't matter at ALL, don't tell it.
Do YOU have any advice for writers on description? I sorta botched this post but I believe we can get some good discussion going. What kinds of things do you try to do with descriptions? What fun tricks do you do?
I like posting dialogue and then posting description, or truly any combination of the two. Especially to start a scene. Another thing I, along with others, like to do is use descriptions to get ideas across into the story. To get into the character's head. This is a scene hastily written with some description, not the best in the world, that I used to dive into the character. The rest of the scene does some more inner searching but contains spoilers so....I'll not post it.
Nerp Keeneye walked out on the battlements of Kinth’s very own capital, Defender. He wasn’t dressed in the common armor of a Kinthian knight, or even that of an officer. Rather, he proudly displayed the colors of Sentor.
He looked over Kinth’s ancient fields, the very place—it was said—that the Most High crafted the first Lakïethian horses. Farmers were plowing the battle ravaged land, trying as best they could to bring back life to the place of death.
Nerp wrapped his hand around the pommel of his sword, expecting the warm heat that was usually emitted from such a touch. But the feeling did not come; he was no longer the wearer of the great Sword.
He tapped his blade once again and turned around to face Defender’s insides. Reconstruction was happening here as well. Sujes wanted everything back to the way it had been before the Rindorian captivity of the city. The only difference Nerp could make out were simple things—less detail applied here, a little less color here—nothing major, but it pained his heart to see the city become a place of war and not beauty.
He had voiced these thoughts to Sujes, saying, “Why must our brightest light be dimmed? Why should we allow the enemy to win by simply creating a shadow of what once was?”
The King had shown a weak smile at this. Obviously he didn’t like it either, but he had peace in something no man could have but himself. “Nerp, my son, things are not always meant to be the same as they were in the past. Some things are meant to be made better.”
“But the city isn’t becoming any better!” Nerp had exclaimed. He could remain silent. Even though Defender was not in fact his home, he felt a sense of reverence for the place. It was the home of the King.
“Is it not?” Sujes had showed off one of his smiles yet again. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What I see when I look upon the men and women that are rebuilding our city, is men and women trying their best to please their Master, men and women striving to imitate the works of their King.”
At this he had leaned in and rested a hand on Nerp’s shoulder. “Rejoice in our rebuilding, my son. It is an act of worship made by those who love their Maker.”
And so it had ended.
Nerp sighed. Sujes could always make the simplest of things sound so beautiful and eloquent that they would never again be overlooked.
He felt a firm hand on his shoulder. “How does it feel to be dressed again in the colors of Sentor? The kingdom named Defense again being represented in Defender by one who could claim greatness men can only dream of.”
Nerp turned. The now trimmed up face of John Oakwood smiled back at him. He laughed. “John, you flatter me with too many words.” He patted his friend’s arm. “You know that I no longer seek authority.”
John smiled and looked up at the rising sun. “Ah yes, humble as ever my friend.” He let out a contented sigh and looked down at his feet. “You know, I saw your boy through.”
Nerp straightened. “Did you now? Where was this?”
“Back in Division. Saw him right on through to Glexotamì.” He chuckled. “Wonderful lad, chip off the old block if I say so myself.”
Nerp smiled. “Wonderful he is. But I certainly hope he turns out nothing like me.”
“Ah.” John slapped Nerp’s armored shoulder. “You turned out alright. You just needed to get out from the castle is all.”
Nerp looked down. “I did get out. You came with me.” He looked up and gazed deep in thought at the sunrise. “She looked right at me…I saw the fear in her eyes. And I…I…”
“That was years ago.” John interrupted. “And like you stated, I was with you then too.” He squeezed Nerp close to his side. “And now look where we stand, atop the walls of Kinth preparing to war against the tyrant who caused all this.” He sighed and turned, joined by Nerp, to gaze off into the north. “Rindor’s end will come soon. Evil cannot stand.”