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Magic144 Thanks, I know that droning on about a surrounding isn't great, but I feel it is needed. Perhaps not on the character's being, but on my original surrounding. However, would people (such as yourselves) stop reading a story because of a description? What I mean is, if someone were walking down a dark path, would describing the feeling and the shadows be classified as boring? Since it's following along with the plot as she moves, right? Please reply, 'cause this is really interesting to know for future stories I write. Thanks!
Magic144:)
Plutospawn I think what you're referring to is using description to affect mood, atmosphere and tone? That's fine, that's the kind of thing that would pull a reader into a story, because then descriptions of a physical place could reflect a character's anxiety about walkng down a dark path by themselves or whatever.

Descriptions are just another tool. It's when they're used almost to... I don't know, maybe the author's a control freak and wants everyone to see the image exactly the way she does or it's just lack of ability and it almost reads like a textbook instead of a moving story is when it's not working. When I hit patches in a story like that, I'll either skip over them completely or stop reading altogether, but other people may be more patient than I am.
Nessrox444 I sure hope so since I hardly do any descriptions other than scenary and slight physical descriptions. Unless you're talking about when there are patches in the story with huge words (that were probably looked up in a glossary and a dictionary) and lots of description that's not really needed.
luvme4eternity All I can say is that when doing descriptions in a story you must always give a setting, time, place, you know? Like example: Inuyasha walked into the cold, dark forest in search of Kagome (You have your setting, place, perfect right there). He felt terrible for what he said to her, and wouldn't be able to live with himself if he didn't apologize (You have feeling and a purpose in that line). But there are lots of descriptions. They don't have to be long or even short. If they are too short you run the risk of the reader not having a clue what your actually talking about, and if they are too long you are making the whole story boreing. Descriptions are actually one of the most important things in a story. It give it flavor and it also gives you a clear picture of what's going on. Some people suck at descriptions, I know sometimes I do. You just have to bring the story together with them, just don't make them too long. Oh and try to keep to things that people actually know, so they don't have to go look the words up in a dictionary. I hope that helps... Not sure it does, but whatever lol.
luvme4eternity All I can say is that when doing descriptions in a story you must always give a setting, time, place, you know? Like example: Inuyasha walked into the cold, dark forest in search of Kagome (You have your setting, place, perfect right there). He felt terrible for what he said to her, and wouldn't be able to live with himself if he didn't apologize (You have feeling and a purpose in that line). But there are lots of descriptions. They don't have to be long or even short. If they are too short you run the risk of the reader not having a clue what your actually talking about, and if they are too long you are making the whole story boreing. Descriptions are actually one of the most important things in a story. It give it flavor and it also gives you a clear picture of what's going on. Some people suck at descriptions, I know sometimes I do. You just have to bring the story together with them, just don't make them too long. Oh and try to keep to things that people actually know, so they don't have to go look the words up in a dictionary. I hope that helps... Not sure it does, but whatever lol.
taker All really depends on what you're doing. If you're doing an Epic, then yes descriptions are good. I'm working on an Epic (125,000+ word, 10+ Chapter, 11 different arcs) and that's good. If you're doing anwhere between 1-5 chapters, less is better. In Epic tales such as Beowulf, War and Peace, Byliny, Iliad, Odyssey, Aeneid, Cantar de Mio Cid, Evangeline, Nibelungenlied, the Epic of Gilgamesh, Mahabharata, Ramayana, Shahnama, Epic of King Gesar just to name a few. All go into depth (not like 400+ pages explaining a ball). But they're not drawn out. If you're doing a one shot for example you want to get the bare essentials across like...

"And then I saw a Pale White Horse, and an rider on him. The Skull face with the Scythe in his hands, the long black robe on him, his name is Death, and Hell followed with him. 'I must get out of this field' I though, I knew my only chance was to hide in the church with the other sinners and pegans."

Okay I took a part of the bible and Johnny Cash's "The Man Comes Around". It gets what's going on (Hell's a comin'), what's causing it (Death and the Horse), we have our setting (a field near a Church) as well as purpose. That's okay.

I'm more than sure you can find Exerts from any of the Epics above, I've read all of Beowulf for a 12th grade English Project, good story but I'm not spoiling it. Thought it could have been shorter.

I hope this helps if this doesn't, I'll try walking you through it over AIM, YIM, MSN or email. Holla back.

P.S.: One thing you'll notice is female writers and males writers have different perceptions on description. Males like feeling there, specifically in a fight scene or sex scene. Females on the other hand need only the bare essentials to be put into it. So it really all depends on whom you're trying to write to. You can compromise to get both I THINKS.
Michelle You could be right on the last part. I need to know where a character is and where he moves/what he does (especially in a fight scene which tends to get confusing very quickly), but apart from that I want a writer to give me enough freedom. Like with a colouring book. The author gives me all the black lines and the overall picture. But I want to decide on the colours.
_C_ One way to use description is you don't have to describe an entire room. You could just mention a purple couch up against a green wall with peeling wallpaper. Here's an example from the fanfic I posted here: "The heat of Bowser's hand brought Peach back to the present. They slipped undetected into his large chambers. Bowser was a conceited creature - the walls were all decorated with pictures of him. The grays of his chambers were only broken by the red sheets on his giant bed and the matching curtains pulled shut over the windows." Or a quick description of Bowser himself: "Without looking she could see him in her mind's eye - his muscles, his green and orange skin, his hard shell, his spiked choker and armbands and his flame-colored hair." ...and... "That first time...he grabbed her himself, his huge hands so strong she felt his claws through the fabric of her white nightgown and the liquid motion of his muscles when he carried her away in the dead of night. Everyone else always acted so gentle with her. Bowser was not. He handled her rather roughly. And his size - even in heels she would only come up to his chest! He could break her in half if he wanted to, and he threatened to do just that unless she stopped squirming. It wasn't until he dumped her in the bushes behind a back wall that she got her first look at his face. So different, he reminded her almost of a dragon wearing a spiked turtle's shell."

See how that paints a "sketch"? If your readers are familiar with the fandom, their minds will fill in the rest.

Now if there is an action sequence going on and no time to describe a corridor the character is running down, you could just mention how the dank gray walls were a blur of sunlight and shadow as Joe ran away from the snarling beast nipping at his heels. That tells the reader what the hall looks like and that there are spaces where holes in the ceiling let the sun shine through.

Hope that helps.

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