How to Write Description

How to Write Description

(Writing Exercise)

man is preparing for written work


Decide what you want to describe.

Make sure to choose a meaningful person, place, or thing. Before you begin your paragraph, you have to be sure to pick something that is worth describing.

Why do you want to describe it?

It’s important to know your purpose for illustrating it. What purpose will the description serve to the story? Does it ground the scene, create mood, or emotion. Understanding its purpose will help you to choose your words more       accurately.

Combine your facts and imagine it in your mind’s eye.

Gather the facts that you know about the thing you wish to describe, combine them with how you see it in your           mind’s eye. It’s important to have a visual yourself before you begin to put it down in words.

Select the right words to convey it.

Use your senses, enlist the help of figurative language. Give your readers an image, feeling, smell, or sight that             they wouldn’t normally expect. Try to close the gap between experience and language. Develop a list of sensory           rich words and expand your vocabulary.

Keep revising until you can’t think of any way to improve your description further.

Keep revising until your gut instinct tells you it’s ready.


Descriptive Writing Exercise

Write a short paragraph of about 250 words describing a person place or thing. Follow the instructions above.

After completing the paragraph, go back and remove all the adjectives, adverbs, and descriptive phrases that relate to the subject in the paragraph.

Did removing these words change the tone of the piece?

Go through the paragraph once more. Choose a distinct character trait, mood or feeling that you wish to convey in the paragraph. Put the descriptive language back in but try using words that reflect the trait you’ve chosen to emphasize.

Feel free to share your before and after in the forum.