Wednesday, December 5, 2012

1st Writes (Teen Edition) - Description

Tonight our teen writers discussed using description in writing. I hope you enjoy the lesson and will join in on the writing prompt!

Tips on Description:                                 

1. Take your time. Don’t rush through description.

2. If you are describing something that really exists, observe it and take notes. The little details do matter!

3. Use your imagination to fill in the gaps.

4. Use more description at the opening of your story. You are the eyes for the reader and you need to set the stage.

5. Keep descriptions simple and true to yourself. You don’t need complicated words.

6. If you use juicy adjectives be careful not to go overboard. You don’t want to take away from the characters and action of the story.

7. “Rule of Three” can sometimes be used to describe things (putting three descriptions together).
Example – Ellen had frizzy, red hair, wore blue sneakers, and hummed constantly, even in class.

8. Use the five senses (sight, touch, smell, taste, sound).
Smells that are in the air (the aroma of freshly brewed coffee)
Sounds (traffic, honking horns)
Sights (“The sun scattered tiny diamonds across dew-covered grass as it peeked out from beyond the horizon.”)
Touch (“The texture of the adobe hut’s walls resembled coarse sandpaper.”)
Taste: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, tart (“Goose bumps formed on my tongue when I accidently bit into the lemon sliver.”)

9. Don’t use vague words or generalities (such as good, pretty, bad, or nice). Instead, be specific.
Example – I ate a good meal. VS. I devoured the piping hot pepperoni pizza.

10. Consider your feelings and spiritual awareness when describing things. As a Christian, you see the world differently (there is hope, truth, and light b/c of Jesus). That should affect your outlook on life and it will come through in your writing.

(Tips 1-8 from Spilling Ink, A Young Writer’s Handbook by Anne Mazer and Ellen Potter.
Tip 8-9 from
Tip 10 by Dawn Hamsher.)

Expand your vocabulary by looking up synonyms! But remember Tip #5 & #6!
I like to use (just click on “Find Synonyms”)

Writing Prompt: Write about "heaven" or "Santa's workshop". Think about the description tips when you write.

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