By: A Beckert
Communication demands description. Incorporating it into
narrative, however, can be tricky,
especially when writing for entertainment. Linear storytelling demands that
action occur and characters interact .Much of the art of writing requires
description not only convey information, but also induce emotional connection
and psychological force. Straight description, or line on line of
information (however unique and creative), often trips the audience up,
neglecting necessary action or not holding up to the sensory standards
necessary to catch and hold attention.
Understand, first, that description is only one of several rhetorical modes, and only one of still more narrative modes in fiction. Description, defined in a scholastic sense, is “the act of capturing people, places, events, objects, and feelings in words so that a reader can visualize and respond to them.” (www.csub.edu) Breaking down the elements of a story can be the subject of a master’s thesis, so here all we need to remember is that description, while a major element, is often blended successfully through several other modes. Rather than discussing straight description, here are a few ways to make description earn its place.
Description communicates strong development in a story’s setting and the characters that act
in it. There are several lenses through which the
same story can be seen, and character is one of the most direct lenses to
Jamison, author of The
Empathy Exams and lecturer for How Writers Write Fiction 2015, communicates her
perspective this way (taken as printed in the transcript of her lecture):
. . .
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