Copyright © 2003 by
Shery Ma Belle Arrieta
As a writer, it's your job to provide a vicarious experience to your reader.
The only way you'll be able to do this successfully is by stimulating your
reader's imagination. Not by bombarding her with too many details in one
go, but by gradually drawing her into your story or essay using descriptions.
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Vivid and clear descriptions make stories come alive. Concrete and specific details paint a more memorable picture for your reader.
Carefully chosen words to describe something or tell a story make your reader use her senses. Not only can she imagine, she can also feel what she's read.
Avoid abstract and general words. Don't just say that a girl is beautiful. Instead, describe her beauty. Maybe she has large, dark chocolate-colored eyes with long lashes and wing-tipped brows.
When using description, you're not working with just one sense, seeing. Stimulate your reader's other senses -- sound, touch, taste and scent.
So don't just say the music is loud,
One descriptive device you can use is comparison and contrast. Compare or contrast something foreign with something your reader is familiar with. For example, "A calamansi fruit tastes like orange but it's less sweet and more sour."
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Another thing you can do to be more descriptive is to give "life" to inanimate objects, abstracts, or animals in your story or essay. Give them human characteristics. Onomatopoetic words come in handy. These are words whose sounds imitate the sound they describe. Examples are buzz, whir, sigh, bang, and murmur.
Use fresh words in your descriptions.
Forget about writing something vague like: "They walked slowly to the park."
Remember, if you want your reader to experience the same thing you've experienced - or experience something you've imagined - write and describe it well.
Now it's your turn.
Turn these bland sentences into sentences that ooze with description people can see, hear and touch. Make your descriptions so vivid your reader see, feel, taste, hear or smell them just by reading what you write.
Now try writing a paragraph or two using these prompts to guide you. Remember, Be descriptive.
Copyright 2003 Shery Ma Belle Arrieta
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