No one wants to read swathes of description – we left that behind with George Eliot devoting a chapter to Dorothea Brooke’s escritoire (I exaggerate only slightly and no, it’s not a euphemism). As Elmore Leonard says, our eyes skip over description until we find some dialogue because we are interested in people, what they say and what they do. However, we do need enough description to know where we are and with the right specific details our imaginations can fill in the gaps. A quick and effective way of doing this is to use colour plus images for each of the five senses to bring your descriptive writing alive.
Let’s test it out – can you guess the place?
The tinny sound of recorded Christmas carols.
The smell of diesel exhaust pumping from taxis.
The panicky sensation as I loose my footing in the crowd
The musky taste of roasted chestnuts
The sight of shoppers struggling with bags and parcels.
Fat santas in red and white polyester suits
Yeah it’s Oxford Street (or any other busy high street) for the next four weeks.
You can avoid the consumer mayhem by giving Chalk the Sun gift vouchers as presents this year…bring out the creativity in your friends and family.