The Devil is in the Details: On Descriptive Writing

This is SOO helpful! The writers I love the most have fantastic detail in their stories, but I struggle when I try to emulate them. Good tips

The Daily Post

We often hear that we should “show, not tell” — that we should paint a detailed picture for our reader that lets them see what’s happening, rather than simply narrating.

Easier said than done! All details are not created equal: some detail throws a barrier between the reader and your story, and some detail is (ironically) not detailed enough. How do you tell whether a detail helps or hurts? Here are four things to keep in mind when you’re writing descriptively, and some writers who illustrate them perfectly.

Good detail is relevant.

Including every detail is the written equivalent of your friend who can never get to the point of a story because he can’t remember if it happened on Tuesday or Wednesday, or if it was 1 PM or 2 PM, or if the car was red or blue. Good detail is relevant to the point of your post.

Writer beware! Not…

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One thought on “The Devil is in the Details: On Descriptive Writing

  1. I love the examples used in this article. I always hope that I can create details like these, that keep the reader reading, and let’s them imagine a place or action without clashing with they already had in mind. Thanks for sharing. Makes me want to go write!

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