Description is one of my least favorite things to write–it feels like such a catalog of objects, colors, and sensations–but it’s a necessary evil. Action can’t happen in a vacuum; readers need some sense of where a character is, even if its only very general.
Some authors have gotten away with very little description. Jane Austen, for example, is downright sparse in her details, most of the time, yet even she takes time out from her narrative to go into detail when, for example, Elizabeth is looking at Mr. Darcy’s picture or going over the grounds of Pemberley or Rosings Park.
So how do you write effective description? It starts with the powers of observation.
Today, it often seems like we’re better at zoning out than zoning in, better at ignoring things than noticing them. So here a few suggestions on how you can get your sense of observation working…
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