NaNo Prep 7: Details!

Originally posted 2016-10-19 17:00:06.

It’s all in the details.

Seriously, the more you can describe in a short sequence, the better.

Not that everyone doesn’t enjoy hearing about battlements, and the type of poison you are dipping arrows in and so forth, but I’m talking about setting the scene to start with.

I’ll give you a for instance, to show you what I mean.

“They were in a place that seemed to fit with why they had been brought there under duress.”
“The dank, mouldy, dimly lit janitor’s closet seemed like a breeding ground for every disease known to rats, and they were almost relieved to not have to touch the chairs they were forced into brusquely.”

Notice you have a deeper sense of what is going on in the second one?

Scenery is so important to define a setting. If you’re in a castle, yet haven’t given any clues to that fact, your reader is going to have a difficult time believing that they are suddenly in a castle, and some readers will stop if the story isn’t believable at all.

Location location location.

It is so crucial to give your story depth, by dropping even hints about the area you are describing.

Since by now, most people have watched at least one (if not all) Harry Potter movies, I’m going to assume you’ve also read the books. You know that the descriptions of things is vital to give people the depth of character, and the depth of the scenery as well.

Saying “Hagrid was tall” would not have conveyed the fact that he was in fact, a half-giant. Instantly, you have an idea that, yes, he is tall, but taller than even above average height. And broader, and possibly even a bit less put together. Let’s face it; there aren’t too many Giant’s Rules of Etiquette and Demureness books floating around (though that does give me a great plot bunny for a short story!)

The point is, you need to set your tone and use words that explain your meaning better than the common way.

*NOTE* I’m not saying you need to use words you are unfamiliar with. will give you plenty of assistance, help, aid… you get what I’m saying. Find words that use YOUR tone but aren’t “very tall” or “pretty flowers”.

I’m going to include the colour variation options as pictures below, so you can utilise that in your writing.

One last thing about colour though. When using it to describe a human of any pigment/melanin content, DO NOT use a FOOD item. I know it is widely used, but honestly, I don’t like being referred to as a ‘freckled marshmallow’, and I don’t think others want to be referred to as something derogatory either.

The reason I point this out, is that people who generalise and assume that characters can be likened to food are being lazy with their words and research. They have not found that being classed as “caramel” for a Caribbean resident is incredibly offensive, considering the fact that they are in some cases, the first generation who hasn’t been a sugar cane farm’s slave worker.

Do your homework, pick a different word. There are many others to choose from, and none have to be edible.




7.5. – The worksheet for this one, will be all about Webs, Wheels, Chains, and Trees to link your story plot points/people/places together.

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Sera Hicks
Creative Journey Leader, Intern Supervisor, Admin, Writer at Geeks and Geeklets
Geeky Hobbit-loving Whovian. Lover of chocolate, cats, and crafty things. Writer, Creative Journey Leader. It has to be better tomorrow.