Physical Descriptions Are Helpful, But Leave a Little to the Imagination

If there is one thing (out of 489) that I’m bad at, is physical description, as evidenced in my current NaNoWriMo project. I try and sprinkle character physical descriptions into my writing as opposed to having them stand in front of a mirror, scrutinize themselves and tell the reader what they look like. (True story).

And something Jenna says really hit me between the eyes, allow the reader to picture the character in his/her mind. It’s important to give readers a general idea of what someone looks like, but it’s true, no matter how descriptive you are, readers will likely picture someone different in their minds.

I know physical descriptions and describing locales in stories is important but that’s the part I find the most dull to write and read. Anything overly descriptive and I just find it pretentious and tedious. (Oh, look at you use your words – how precious). I like stories that are fast paced and exciting, describing someone’s acne or the color, texture and function of someone’s kitchen drawer immediately turns me off.

Forget the flowery prose, let’s dump your character in acid and see what happens.


NaNoWriMo Update: I’m at 6,210. I finished Freedom Riot – (you can find the story here – I broke it up into four parts because it’s 6200 words and no one has the attention span for that Part One, Part Two – I haven’t posted parts three and four yet – patience grasshopper). I wrote A LOT yesterday. I don’t know, I was excited for it. I was READY for it. I think reading all year long also REALLY helped – I felt like I had been transported into one of the stories I read this year.

By the way, the prompt I used for Freedom Riot was: A world wherein employees work nonstop with no vacation—a riot ensues.

I feel like I’m more interested in writing crazy, weird stuff. Not really horror, definitely not romance, but somewhere in between. I’m really interested in mystery, thrillers. I love twists and turns and stories that keep throwing stuff at you so you’re forced to duck and dodge incoming missiles. And you know what? I was watching more of Jenna’s videos (I’m sort of fan girling on her, not gonna lie) and something she said really resonated with me – write what  interests you, not what you think you should write. Not that I have to write romance, but honestly, there are only so many ways to describe In flagrante delicto, or caught in the act for those that have no idea what that means. But human depravity? Endless options here. So, I’ve learned that about myself. I want to write more twisted, fascinating, disturbing stories, without the blood and guts. More psychological stories – stuff that mess with your head.

I’ve also been thinking about the repercussions of putting my work online. I’m going to think of the works I post as teasers. I feel like most of my stories could easily be expanded on, made longer, into novels. So if I ever feel compelled to take a story further and try and get it published, the part I posted online will be an excerpt of that bigger story. That way, that gives me the freedom to post a little something-something for you all and the flexibility to make it bigger, put some meat on the story bones, if I choose to. Though I didn’t feel particularly invested in Bianca and Trey this go around, I definitely felt like I could have taken Freedom Riot much, much further.

So, dear reader, I apologize in advance, but you’re going to get a lot of excerpts and very little “finished” projects.

I already have an idea for my next short story and man, is it going to be dark. Stay tuned.