Write Details From What You Know

Writing descriptively is difficult. You run out of words. Well, you run out of your own words. If you are writing about something you have experienced, then allow yourself to recall the details in order to provide rich descriptions for readers. Here are a few tips for writing details from what you know:

  1. Recall the sights and sounds. Both happen in layers. You see one thing (a cousin sipping water), you hear another (the irritatingly loud voice of an uncle), and you feel something else (profound sadness or extreme displeasure). 
  2. Think about something humorous that happened during this experience. Did you laugh out loud? Did it change the atmosphere in the room? Was it only funny to you? 
  3. Go over the details of the setting in your mind. Was the lighting too bright? What color were the drapes? Was the day overcast? Did music play in the background or was there entertainment? Was it eerily quiet or annoyingly loud? Would you have chosen the décor? Did you like the décor? 
  4. Explore how you felt. Were you comfortable and relaxed? Or, did the outfit you were wearing make you feel awkward and unable to pay attention to the events taking place? Was there somewhere else you would have preferred to have been? How did you feel about the people in the room or venue?
  5. What did you imagine that others in the same room were thinking and feeling? What did you know about any one of them that either made you empathize or detach from them? Was there an ally or enemy in the room with you? 

One way to stretch our vocabularies is to write about what we know as if we were in that room or place. You will be surprised how a passage changes when we write with detail. 

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