The Authors’ Key to Descriptive Writing

Pay attention to detail.

The purpose of attention to detail is because it is detail which can make or break a description. The purpose of description is to invoke a feeling.

A good writer is someone who has to, by nature, be able to feel in high definition. A good writer is a magician, an alchemist. Someone who is able to transmute energy through the arrangement and structure of symbols on a page,  (it doesn’t get much more magical than that!).

Therefore, committing to the craft of writing is not for those lacking in courage. It is not for the faint hearted. You cannot let yourself feel in HD without becoming completely receptive and vulnerable. There is no way around it, and for most people, this is a very scary thing…

You can only excel at this craft if you consciously and frequently throw yourself whole-heartedly into observing, into experiencing , LIFE. You must know how to live, and not simply go through the motions.

In order to make your descriptions believable, whether the writing is fiction or non-fiction, in order to entrance, enchant, and earn the empathy of the reader, you MUST be able to surrender completely. This surrender is what allows your senses to fully open. It is through your senses that you understand and interact with your reality. It is how you perceive the world, and as a writer, it is the difference between trying to describe a scene witnessed through a dirty, foggy, mud-streaked window, or smashing the window and stepping into the world beyond.

Smash the damn window. There is no better moment than this one…


“Don’t tell me the moon is shining. Show me the glint of light on broken glass. ” -Anton Chekhov


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