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How to Write Descriptively

13 May

How to Write Descriptively

Posted By: 
Kaitlyn Guay

The mind of Jessica Turnstyles was a hazy ghostyard of abandoned desires.

Jessica Turnstyles never got what she wanted.

Both sentences convey that Jessica’s dreams always seem to elude her. But which sentence makes you more likely to feel what Jessica feels?

Nalo Hopkinson’s bite-sized TED-ed talk on how to write descriptively helps young writers learn how to write their characters so that the reader falls into the bones of their created world, instead of watching demurely from a distance. She says, “When you write, use well-chosen words to engage sounds, sight, taste, touch, smell, and movement.” This means, instead of saying “Jessica feels queasy”, you might say “Jessica’s insides roil with spin-cycle heaves.”  

Hopkins says, “The point of fiction is to cast a spell; the momentary illusion that you are living in the world of the story.”

What world would you like to jump into today?