Three Steps To More Effective Description


E. B. White, in the book The Elements of Style, writes: Use definite, specific, concrete language.

The surest way to arouse and hold the reader’s attention is to use words that are precise, crystal-clear and real so that the reader can see in his/her mind the exact images that the writer wants him to see.

It is always better to be:

1) Definite rather than Vague in your descriptions.

Instead of saying “The weather was gloomy the whole week.”

It is better to specify “It rained every day during the week.”

2) Specific rather than General.

Instead of writing “The bird is flying in the sky.”

It would be more effective to write “The hummingbird is hovering over the daisy.”

3) Concrete rather than Abstract.

Instead of writing “The woman is standing on the balcony.”

It would be more real to use a physical description and write “The golden-haired young woman in the green dress is standing on the balcony.”

ChK

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4 Responses to Three Steps To More Effective Description

  1. Pingback: Write More Interestingly « Life is Mysterious

  2. Great illustrations for your point. Vagueness in a story is a sure-fire way of losing their audience. :)

  3. Pingback: Write Like an Architect: Description by Design | Write to Done | S. L. Writes

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