EDIT ME–descriptive writing

quote mark

So many times while editing I prompt the author for more description. Let me feel the breeze! Give us info about the setting! How do those edible panties taste?


Authors I’ve worked with more than once know that Em wants more description.

Here are some examples of how description can enhance a character or scene:

Raoul’s spiky brown hair and slow smile told me he’d just crawled out of that rumpled bed with the discarded cowboy boots beside it.

Raoul crawled out of bed.

Okay, now which one can you SEE? Can you feel the spikes in his hair or the messy covers? Which sentence did you enjoy reading more?

Writing with the senses is important. Here are the 5 senses:






Now don’t get me wrong, you do NOT have to add all 5 senses in the same paragraph or even the same page. Be careful–you don’t want your work to end up reading like a list.

As a reader, some of my favorite books are layered with description. Anne Rice’s Witches series, Dickens’ Great Expectations, Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, and my favorite book of all time–Rosamunde Pilcher’s Coming Home.

Some of you are minimalists–you write simple and clean and don’t add a lot of fluff. You don’t need to change your style to be descriptive. A well-placed word can make a huge difference. For instance, pizza is delicious. But triple meat pizza with extra cheese and green peppers is mouth-watering, right?

Don’t forget about the small details that will root your characters–and readers– in the story.

Thanks for reading!



2 comments on “EDIT ME–descriptive writing

  1. I think that writers who have a minimalist style and use that punchy word or two get more bang for their buck Because there isn’t a lot of fluff around it, those words have greater impact. It’s like looking at a picture. One beautiful picture among an entire gallery wall does not tend to draw the eye the way one or two pictures on an otherwise blank wall will do.

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