Hand descriptions creative writing

When we read a detailed account of how something smells, for example, our sensory cortex gets a signal.

When the phone rang, did your cousin ignore it or jump up to answer it, looking relieved for the interruption?

The last bad example, I didn't even make it through. She tore free of his grip and leaped off the trail. It was August, high summer, but there was something definite and curiously insubstantial in the air. Figurative language is an unmatched ally in descriptive pursuits. I think the app is really cool and helpful. Well-placed verbs can sharpen almost any physical description of a character.

The analogous relationships you establish have to be earned. Early environments shape fictional characters as well as flesh-and-blood people. Nova Parade March 23, - 3: One well-chosen physical trait, item of clothing, or idiosyncratic mannerism can reveal character more effectively than a dozen random images.

The details must appeal to our senses. The fundamental disregard to work within the descriptive framework of the character I established — to choose authorial square jawed smugness instead of revealing things the way the character would have seen them, in other words — reveals a rudimentary mishandling of narrative. Words with strong sensory associations always increase your chances of yielding an empathic response. She did not—could not—respond.

This clears the way for Rhonda to hear and see. Put your subject directly before the verb. As you describe real-life characters, zero in on distinguishing characteristics that reveal personality: This distinction between nonactable and actable actions echoes our earlier distinction between showing and telling. In order to maximize that empathic response, try to appeal to all the senses as often as you can.

That silenced her, too. When I write about Uncle Leland, I describe the wandering eye that gave him a perpetually distracted look, as if only his body was present.

This is what I needed to facilitate writing among my students. Sometimes they even speak for us, carrying much of the burden of plot, theme, mood, idea, and emotion. All she could hear was snorting and thrashing. It gives the writer a chance to deconstruct a specific, subjective event and recast it into something familiar. The same applies to our relationships with the laws of physics. Old hats fell down over her eyes. The bear had him. When it comes to description, focus on the most telling details rather than caving in to your writerly proclivities to lean on the pen.

She put a hand to her mouth. Which items is she practically giving away? Select physical details carefully, choosing only those that create the strongest, most revealing impression. She padded on regardless. It will help to express needed. Offer concrete information, engage us with moment-to-moment details, tell us about each detail, and how they affect the senses. Ever wonder why metaphor and analogy are such powerful — not to mention, popular — tools?

The pitch on her hand glued her lips shut. And, yes, the shame. Here are 11 secrets to keep in mind as you breathe life into your characters through description. Leave a Reply Cancel reply. In order for readers to enter the fictional dream, the activity must be shown.

But there was something in the air, a sad note the weather played upon the instrument of the bone-stretched skin. So put thought into this. What items would your character pack for a weekend away? To slow down the motion in other words, to add emphasis , shorten the sentence. Techniques abound for describing a character indirectly, for instance, through the objects that fill her world. Now — to establish storytelling authority — make sure the description is told from the proper subjective viewpoint: This applies to characters in nonfiction as well as fiction.

Can you hear him reading from an encyclopedia? That's what Faulkner's farts sounded like Each step she took was carefully placed right where his had been, in a methodical sort of way. Was it a stormy afternoon? One of the most practical — and indeed, easiest — ways of laying out a descriptive foundation is to envision each scene before you write it. The human mind is engineered to see patterns.

When we describe a character, factual information alone is not sufficient, no matter how accurate it might be. Exciting, powerful encounters that leap off the page? If you really want to place your reader in the story, your writing should take advantage of our collective faulty wiring whenever you can. More By This Author. Not only is this new sentence more specific, it brings in a few common experiences associated with heat sticky skin, broiling parking lots , thereby placing readers into the action and increasing the chances of an empathic response.