Fantasy Faction Fantasy Book Reviews & Community Improving Description So, you may have noti...

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Fantasy Faction Fantasy Book Reviews & Community

Improving Description So, you may have noticed that you clicked a different button to get onto the post today: “MJA” instead of “ARD”. Well, that’s because our beloved Amy Rose Davis has come down with an illness and as a result, the writer within wouldn’t let her publish a sub-standard article that she was sure would be the result of lack of time + illness. Fear not though, for she will be returning next week. For now though, you have me (sorry!). Well, I’m not going to try and tell you too much about writing, because quite honestly I’m not experienced enough to tell you ‘how to write’ in great detail. Rather, I’m going to make some suggestions as to how you can improve your story telling through description. These are just some techniques I’ve come across over my years studying creative writing and English literature here in England. I hope they help and serve as a suitable replacement for Amy’s usual gold-dust stylistic articles.

Description Description really does make a fantasy novel. I mean, story is hugely important, but essentially you are trying to bring to people creatures, locations, and objects they have never seen before. To do this successfully you need to describe them very, very clearly and in a way they can relate to. It is a skill that requires a heck of a lot of practice at and like anything, you need to be creative in how you do it. Often people think that you get better at description by purely writing, but I’m not so sure about that. I think as a footballer must concentrate on passing, shooting, and dribbling away from the actual field, a writer should work on description away from their stories. What do I mean by this? Well, I have three techniques that I have tried and I’ve ordered them in terms of their successfulness in regards to my own writing. Observe and Describe Take a trip to the beach or the park. Drop a load of objects onto your bed. Work on describing what you see. If it is a beach, you are going to need to consider how to summarise what you see in a way that captures the scene and yet doesn’t have you describing each and every person and thing occurring. If you are in the park, you need to give a feeling of the beauty you are surrounded by and yet not focus on each flower, blade of grass or path. Dropped a load of objects onto the bed? You need to think about how they have landed and dramatise your writing to an extent that it is interesting to read. Television I think television is a very good tool for working on your description. Choose your favourite television series like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It doesn’t have to be fantasy, but as a fantasy writer it will help. Simply write what you see. Imagine someone doesn’t have the luxury of a television, how would you write the scene in a way they could understand? The great thing about this method is that you can do it in first person as well as third person and you will really see your ability to describe improving quickly.


Fantasy Faction Fantasy Book Reviews & Community

Graphic Novels This has always been my favourite method. I remember the day I got a piece of writing back from my tutor with an A+ stamped across it through this manner. Basically, my tutor had said, “You need to write a piece of fiction from another form of media.” Most people chose plays or television as I have put above, but I thought, “How about a comic book?” I actually went with a Manga book and I was amazed at how easy it was to do. I basically took the dialogue out of the graphic novel and then just worked around that. I added in the descriptions, moved it into first person and added in the thoughts of the character that I thought fitted best. The thing about this is that it is so easy. You just grab the nearest comic book and work at your own pace.

Conclusion So, why does it help? Well, I think essentially we are bad at description. Although we may see things clearly in our minds, actually getting it down on page in the same light is almost impossible. We therefore need to get better at it. I think that by practicing describing real objects/scenes/images you can actually compare them to what you have achieved with your writing. You can also get people to read your writing and have them guess what it is (if describing objects/places) or have them watch the scene/read the comic book you have described and ask for their feedback. Once you get good at describing things that have a physical form, you will be far more prepared to describe things without a physical form and relaying them to your reader. The worst remark you could possibly have when someone is reading your work is, “What the heck are you on about!?” Make sure that doesn’t happen. :)

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