- It helps if you can form a mental picture first, putting yourself in the scene, and then describing what you
see, hear, smell, taste or feel.
- Be selective. Too many details can bog down the sentence or the action. If the words don’t add to the
storyline by moving it forward, don’t use them.
- Avoid clichés unless it’s one of the character’s personality traits to use them. Examples: As good as gold.
Work like a dog. Greener pastures. Pass the buck.
- As part of your editing process, review each sentence to decide if you have included enough description.
For example, it may add to the story if the character grew up in a twenty-room mansion in Beverly Hills
rather than a house in southern California, or drank a tankard of Dortmunder rather than a can of beer, or
drove a 1936 Auburn Boattail Speedster convertible, dark blue with a tan interior rather than an old car.
- Adding the right amount of description is a balancing act, and everyone has a different opinion of what is
the right balance. Just be aware that too much will bore the reader and not enough will leave him confused.