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Paperback Description (Elements of Fiction Writing) Book

ISBN: 0898799082

ISBN13: 9780898799088

Description (Elements of Fiction Writing)

(Part of the Elements of Fiction Writing Series)

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Good

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Book Overview

Description is most powerful when it's visible, aural, tactile. Make your descriptions fresh and they'll move your story forward, imbue your work with atmosphere, create that tang of feeling that editors cry for and readers crave. Monica Wood helps you squeeze the greatest flavor from the language. She segments description like an orange, separating its slices to let you sample each one. You'll learn about: Detail, and how you can use description...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Very Effective

As a writer, I've always considered description to be my strong suit, so I read other books in this series before I picked up this one. I wish now that I'd read it first. Monica Wood clearly articulates the difference between strong description and weak description and provides so many examples that it is easy to see her point, and easy to make the leap in your mind and change your way of thinking about description. I realize now that although I've always been good with imagery, my images lacked purpose. I'm a photographer by nature. I've been busy presenting my readers with snapshots when I should have been painting art for them. My images were clear, vivid and real, but they told my reader little about the underlying structure of either my characters or my theme. My descriptions created texture, but didn't incite emotion or meaning. I looked at my manuscript and realized I've got 70,000 missed opportunities. So far, I've revised three scenes and already I know my characters better. The writing is tighter, the characters sharper. Those scenes pack so much punch now that I'm faced with the opposite problem I had before- how to let the story breathe for a bit between those scenes. Pacing is going to be a different challenge for me now.

An Excellent Reference Guide for Writers, New and Old

This is one of those books that people don't really think they need, until they pick up a copy and start flipping through it. Description is one of the most fundamental things a writer has to do, yet so many people who write do it poorly.Monica Wood takes the idea of description, and makes it an easy to use 'technique' in your writing. This is a necessary guide for all of us who like to write. The idea of show, don't tell, is pushed here, but not to the point of being obnoxious. Wood shows how to use all of the senses in your descriptions to make your reader feel as though he/she were there. That's key. 'A big, red house..' isn't description. ...a house the color of dried blood, with a roofline so tall that the clouds seemed to have to part to get around the peak..' now that's description!I have a few reference, or technique books on my shelf, and this one is one that I open most often. I want to make sure my readers understand where they are and what they're seeing, smelling, and feeling in the story. This book teaches the reader how to do just that.

Great for inspiration

I saw this book in the store, and was impressed by both the introduction and the varied topics, that cover the different aspects of writing quite well. Having now finished the book, I'm glad that I bought it.I always consider books about writing as guidelines, ideas of what you should consider, and not hard rules. Monica Wood has a slightly different idea of what description should be like than I have. The effect of some of her examples on me was different than what she intended. But that's one of the good things about this book. It illustrates its points well enough to let you judge for yourself if you like the style. There are many ideas to consider here, all of them written in clearly and with good examples.I found this book a good inspiration to go back to an old story of mine, rewrite parts, and add details. Not because I found anything really wrong with my own descriptions, but because it made me think more about my characters, and how small things I encounter in my life can be incorporated into a fantasy story set in another time and place. This shows how a good book about description can cover everything from setting to characters, and inspire you not just where your style is concerned.BTW, the book I have is an older (1995) hardcover edition.

Excellent book, all around

Monica obviously knows whereof she speaks! This book is simply excellent. For the interested writer or writer-to-be, this book is almost like a NY Times bestseller: you don't want to put it down, not for one second. Monica wants to help you find the perfect mixture between showing and telling the story, which method is better in which circumstances, underlying metaphors, how your style affects the perception of the subject, touch, taste, smell, sight -- everything. This book is not only useful for fiction writers, I know I've been able to apply what I've learned to my non-fictional writing as well.

Best book on creating description I found

Incredibly useful for the beginning writer who has the mistaken idea that everything of importance is done in scenes. Wrong!! Good description can add color and life to your work. The technique of interior monologue, which blurs the line between "showing" and "telling", is especially useful. The bias against description is another example of stupidity in the age of video. A novel is not a television script and should not be treated like one. This book is worth your time.
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