Writespa #73 – Hey, Beautiful!

In my editing practice, two words that writers overuse when they’re describing characters they want to impress you with are “beautiful” and “handsome.”

What, exactly, are they trying to say? What makes someone appear beautiful?

Especially irritating to me is when an author writes: “She used to be beautiful, but now she had a few wrinkles around her eyes…”

Argh. Irk. You’d be much better off saying,“She used to be twenty-two…” […]

WriteSpa #31 – Elemental Beings

When I was around seven years old, I remember visiting my grandmother, Ethel Cook Eliot, at her home in western Massachusetts. One night she sat on the edge of my bed and told me about some rain goblins she’d seen. She described them to me as about eight inches high, skinny, wrinkled, brown-skinned, and rather Read more about WriteSpa #31 – Elemental Beings[…]



Practice: Description

Description evolves best from observation. Observation offers a way of watching your inner experiences reflected back in outer phenomena. Instead of writing “I felt gloomy,” you could write: “The clouds pressed in, prematurely darkening the bleak sky.” By strengthening your powers of observation you’ll be able to transform your plethora of confusing emotions into the Read more about Practice: Description[…]



Looking Out of a Window

Describe what you see out your window in minute detail. Do this at approximately the same time each day. Try to evoke a different mood on different days (gloomy, cheerful, excited…) just from the description itself – don’t mention any personal emotion.Describe what you see out your window in minute detail. Do this at approximately Read more about Looking Out of a Window[…]



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