Descriptive Language

witches-of-echo-park

So, I’m still reading The Witches of Echo Park, by Amber Benson, when I came across this particular sentence that just struck me:

“…fat teardrops coursed down her cheeks, slipping off the slope of her chin and pooling in he dip of her collarbone.”

It’s very simple, yet descriptive enough for me to perfectly visualize what’s happening. I’ve come to greatly appreciate Amber Benson’s writing style, and I believe it’s impacted my own writing in a positive way.

Ever since I started reading this book a few months ago–I know, I’m a shamefully slow reader–the descriptive quality of my own writing has improved–by my opinion, anyway.

I can’t put my finger on the specific switch that was flipped, how or why it happend, but I think this book has many great examples of particular, specific writing, that has given me the power to further improve myself.

When Amber’s describing a moment, or a room, she clues in on one or two specific aspects that give you an unquestionable detail as to what’s happening, and makes the scene more tangible.

For myself, one expample of improvement was instead of saying, “she gasped,” as I could have done in my WIP, I wrote, “Massacre breathed hard, her slender chest rising and falling in quick rhythmic snaps.” This works for me, not that’s it’s a perfect sentence, or a wow moment, but to me it stands out as personal improvement. I’m not sure that I ever focused on some of the more mundane aspects of human movement, or even surrounding stimuli in a scene, but now I try to give everything at least some consideration.

So how about you? Is there something you’ve read lately that directly affected the way you perceive your own writing or completely changed the way you work?

Please leave a comment! I’d love to chat!

 

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