Descriptions as Story

My main takeaway from last week's assignment of analyzing how
Colin Barrett
uses descriptions and details in his writing was that descriptions work best when it's the substance itself.

In Barrett's case he tells the story through the descriptions. This contrasts how I had previously considered description a separate contextual intro or interlude to the story itself. I actually find such descriptions in writing to be sub-optimal compared to description as story. If you can tell your story well without using descriptions then you shouldn't use descriptions at all.

Descriptions shine when it tells a story and strikes the reader with an aura that can't be achieved without the description. It's more than aesthetics and sensory. Thus it also helps to not just chunk all description in one segment and instead progressively reveal just the right amounts at the right time to enable the story.

This also works in nonfiction writing as well. All writing whether fiction or non has a story to it. I believe  fiction usually requires more description though.


Just to illustrate an example here is a what I think is a bad example of description:

There was a couch. It was old and worn down. The color was green. The person came and sat on it and had a conversation with his friend.

Here is a better example:

The man shared with his friend that his family wasn't doing well. They'd lost money on stocks. Suddenly the friend realized how worn down the couch they were sitting on looked.


Great example Sir Abe. That is why I also found last week's lesson and assignment to be profound. A writer that takes the time to have descriptions and details in their work - will have a higher quality work.... like a published author we both know :)
2021-05-25 03:19:13
So who is the published author that we both know? lol
2021-05-25 14:18:14

Echo and Narcissus Writing Club