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The Expert’s Guide To Descriptive Writing

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Descriptive essays are powerful pieces of literature. Their power stems from their ability to appeal to the reader’s senses and engage them through a beautiful narrative. Vivid descriptions, characterisations and sensory details are the many ornaments of good descriptive writing. Writers use their words and ideas to stimulate a reader’s mind, making them visualise something with astounding clarity.

The art of descriptive writing is not an easy one to master. Developing proper descriptive writing skills requires lots of practice and some specialist guidance.

Read on and learn the techniques that professional authors use to generate striking content.

Potent Descriptive Writing Techniques from Pundits

What is a descriptive essay? — If this is the question in your mind, then the simplest answer would be a write-up that uses detailed descriptions of something to help readers visualise it clearly. That “something” can be a place, an event, a person, a living or non-living object or anything on God’s green Earth.

The very definition of descriptive writing is to write in a way that makes readers visualise. The better the potency of the content, the better a mind will imagine. Accomplished writers use a multitude of descriptive writing techniques to craft charismatic content.

  • Showing vs. Telling

Take a look at the following sentences.

“An old woman sat all alone at the bus-stop.” “A wrinkled old woman sat all alone at the dilapidated bus-stop.”

The first sentence is an example of the writer telling the reader something. In the next one, two adjectives ‘show’ the reader some descriptive details of the scene.

  1. Showing rather than telling is the key feature of descriptive writing.
  2. Showcase your descriptions in your write-ups.
  3. Use words to build a mood and develop a dominant impression on your writers.
  4. Your words should add texture and galvanise a reader’s imagination.

Show your readers a vista using your words and make them run their imaginations wild!

  •  Focus on a dominant Impression

Effective descriptions help create an impression on the readers’ mind. Building the right atmosphere is a great way to develop the context of your descriptive essays.

Here’s a small example.

“The raging storm lashed at our windows and the log-house creaked ominously with every gust. Just one soot-covered lantern flickered in the cabin. As the howling winds picked up the pace, the age-old cabin shivered as the wind & sleet tried to tear the whole thing down. “

Notice how certain words help put over the impression that the cabin might actually fall down. The suspenseful atmosphere, the steady build-up—these are the vital features of good descriptive storytelling.

  1. Adding minute details creates a mood and evokes emotion in your readers.
  2.  Make them feel through your sentences.
  3. Use eye-catching descriptions to trigger impulses and generate the right emotions for your story.

Craft your stories so that they leave a long-lasting impression on their minds.

  • Use sensory details

 “The rays of the setting sun on the sea-water made for a beautiful scene as I waded through the sand.”

“The golden rays of the setting sun on the turquoise sea-water made for a beautiful scene as I waded through the warm sand.”

See how the second one appeals a lot more appealing and makes the scene come alive. These are sensory details which trigger the brain areas associate with our five senses.

  1. Add specific details that prod the imagination.
  2. Engage the reader’s senses and make them feel the constituents of your scene.
  3. Write so that you can add descriptions within the context of your essay.
  4. Recollect an experience using all your five senses, if possible.

Yes, describing things in painstaking details may make your essays a bit verbose but that’s the nature of the descriptive language.  But, it’s verbose nature is essential to impress the reader’s mind.

Deliver sensory details in harmony with one another and build concrete images for your readers. An evocative picture that intrigues the reader’s perception is the essence of good descriptive writing.

Let’s u now take a look at some handy descriptive writing tips that supplement the above techniques.

Some Definitive Descriptive Writing Tips

Keep in the following tips in mind while writing a descriptive essay.

  1. Utilise figures of speech

Use figures of speech so that your readers can create a clear mental picture using your descriptions. Add similes, metaphor, personifications and alliterations to make you write-ups elegant and expository.

  1. Use symbolic objects for ideas or emotions

Some words invoke a particular sense or feeling in our mind. For example, the phrase”..felt like a prison.” symbolises a lack of freedom. Similarly, certain colours are associated with ideas & emotions. Use these techniques to create a mood or context for your essays.

  1. Take some time to brainstorm

Think hard about how you perceived the subject of your descriptive essay. Note down the key features of the entity or event you are to describe. Try to compile a descriptive list for every one of the features before starting your piece.

  1. Be clear and concise

Describe things with clarity.  If you do not add your details properly, your content becomes convoluted and confusing. And, though it is difficult to keep things concise in descriptive write-ups, do not go overboard with your descriptions.

  1. Be organised

A proper presentation of ideas is crucial for your write-ups’ success. Develop your essays using a logical structure and your readers will be able to follow it with ease. Go through well-written descriptive essay examples and find out how to build a proper structure.

Follow these tips and techniques with heart and craft descriptive essays that will leave a mark on the reader’s mind.

Here’s a bunch of some amazing descriptive essay topics for you to practice with.

A list of some creative descriptive writing ideas 

Apply your writing skills on these descriptive essay topics and find out where you need to improve.

  1. Describe some of your favourite places in your hometown.
  2. Describe the last time you visited the mountains.
  3. Describe yourself to someone who has never met you.
  4. Write something about a person you miss.
  5. Choose a piece of food to eat; then, write a description of it that includes the way it looks, smells and tastes.
  6. Recount your oldest memory.
  7. Write about a terrifying incident in your life.

Follow all the information in this article to a T, practice more and create descriptive essays of superb quality.

But, if a lack of time or other problematic reasons prevents you from preparing your essays to perfection, then do not worry. Let the experts of handle all your essay writing problems.

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Hi, I am Mark, a Literature writer by profession. Fueled by a lifelong passion for Literature, story, and creative expression, I went on to get a PhD in creative writing. Over all these years, my passion has helped me manage a publication of my write ups in prominent websites and e-magazines. I have also been working part-time as a writing expert for for 5+ years now. It’s fun to guide students on academic write ups and bag those top grades like a pro. Apart from my professional life, I am a big-time foodie and travel enthusiast in my personal life. So, when I am not working, I am probably travelling places to try regional delicacies and sharing my experiences with people through my blog. 

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