Writer’s Sword

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Show, don’t tell. A writer musn’t tell the reader what’s happening, instead, let see what’s happening, let the words form images. However, there is such thing as being too vague when a writer tries too hard to show.

-Description Excerises-

1) Think of an overall topic, like a break-up, a date, a fight. Or even think of an item; a cup of hot chocolate, a plate of food. But don’t use the key word(s).

Ex. A Break-Up Scene: Describe a break-up without using that word.

The sledgehammer swung at her side as she stalked from the house. He stumbled out the door that she had slammed behind her.

“No!” he yelled, “I didn’t cause you that much pain! Don’t do it, I’m sorry!”

“Wrong words to say!” her voice echoed over her shoulder, an unsettling calm washing over her as she approached the prized car.

“I’m sorry!” he nearly tripped over his own feet down the stone stairs of their once shared house.

“Should’ve said that,” she hissed, “Before you cheated on me!”

The sledgehammer lifted above her shoulder. Like chopping wood with an axe, her hand slid down the handle as she brought it down upon the car’s hood.

2) Simply look at something random; a wall, perhaps, or a rock, window, plant, anything. Describe it.

Ex. Rose quartz

The pale pink of rose petals seemed to stain the cold, translucent stone.


1) Use your own words. Asking for help or looking up words/pictures is fine, but twist your descriptions to fit your style of writing.

2) Don’t go overboard. You don’t need six different words describing the color of a cup. Keep it between one and three.

3) Make sure the words you choose fit the context or even the dialogue. A light and nice story will have much happier words (except during the times if/when it does get a bit darker) than a story revolving around death and darkness, which even in happier times, may keep that dark and dreadful wording to add more suspense and suspicion.

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