EXERCISE Clean Description challenge!

Discussion in 'REFINING WRITING' started by Minibit, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. I don't often beg or demand, I usually prefer to request humbly, but I have to beg you to read the above quote and either save it on your computer or write it down and pin it someplace where you will see it whenever you are writing; it changed my entire style and makes descriptions of all kinds so much easier.

    It's no fun to read entire paragraphs on nothing but a character's clothing and hairstyle, but it can be frustrating to know nothing about the area you're playing in except that it's a house, so let's read the above quote and practice a specific kind of description: Place description

    Simple: Write a scene in which your character or characters enter an area significant to the story. It could be the villain's hiding lair, it could be the grave of a mentor, or a cave where something is hidden, or even just the main character's bedroom or workplace. Your challenge is to describe it with the following criteria:

    • Break out your thesaurus and try to use the words that are appropriate, instead of the ones that just sound cool
      (ie: if your character is NOT walking with a cocky sway to their steps, then don't say they 'sauntered', say they walked.)
    • Find the details of the place that will be assumed by the reader without your saying anything, and cut them out.
      (ie: if you are placing the scene in a cave; you don't need to tell us that it's dark and that there are probably bats)
    • Find the details that make your setting unique from every other castle/cave/dungeon/temple/place, and describe them. Make an attempt to get the image into the reader's mind as QUICKLY as possible.


  2. She moved crumpled up sheets of paper with her foot with the air of being displeased as she looked around. The study was like an anechoic chamber with rugs hung in front of every bookcase that held hundreds of mathematical manuscripts. Sound absorbent curtains were hung in front of every window. Though it was the Atomic Age, the room was lit by a scattering of gas lamps sat precariously upon stacks of disused books.

    The doctor sat behind his desk that faced the door. His writing desk was pristine. While dust expanded its territories elsewhere in the room, the desk and the area around it was the sole remaining bastion of cleanliness and utter organization.

    “Yes,” the doctor asked without looking up.

    “An update, sir,” her tone was formal and stiff.

    “Tell the committee to get stuffed,” he replied drolly with a wistful grin as he finally stared her down.

    “E-excuse me,” she looked shocked and offended.

    The doctor leaned back with a sigh, a creak was expected but nothing came. “They wanted proof of possibility,” he squinted a bit and cocked his head slightly to the right, “I have found proof of impossibility.”

    (Probably longer than expected, but I enjoy this character... He just kinda came to me while I was thinking of a scene. XD)