Young Adult Dark Urban Fantasy Author ~

Make Your World Breathe


Just breathe

Just breathe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


There is no such thing as too much description.  Okay, maybe later on when you’re a few drafts in some details will need to be scaled down. But in the beginning when you are just writing, just write. Tell your story and every little detail that you see in your mind. First drafts need to be loaded with details. There will be too many but come draft two and three you can pick  and choose what’s important enough to stay and what needs to go. And through those changes your story will start to become alive.


Every character in your story needs a voice and I don’t only mean the ones who can talk. I mean EVERY character. The buildings, the car, the woods, the town. The world you’ve created needs to breathe. It needs life. Life in writing is created through details. The edge in someones voice, the creak of a clock tower, the feel of a touch, the sweetness of a flower. The ripped, faded jeans. The wickedly flirtatious smile. The racing blood. The charred forest. The reader needs to see it, taste it, feel it, hear it and know it. They want to walk in the world you create, to feel what the characters feel.


I think we all can get caught up in writing dialogue. It is no doubt, extremely important but at the end of the day, if all you have is dialogue, where’s the setting? Why does the reader care if he can’t see your characters sitting on the hillside, or fighting in the alley? The only way to create your world is to give it a personality of its own. Give it an identity and make it come alive in the minds of all who read it.




8 responses

  1. Thank you for posting this inspiring blog.

    I do tend to write a little more dialogue than I should, only because I feel that I’m not telling enough of the story, and am giving way too much description. The reader needs action, but thanks to this post, I agree that they need to “see” where the action is happening.

    March 2, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    • Thanks for reading and posting! Glad it was useful. Sometimes in order to focus my own thougts and write more productively, I need remind myself how its done. Good luck in your writing and enabling your readers to ‘see’.

      March 2, 2011 at 4:21 pm

  2. Absolutely! Couldn’t have said it better. Just one little point, it is quite fashionable to write books based on the use of social media/email, i see this related to a radio play. Sure you haven’t got the obvious description, but it is hidden in there. Even with radio plays, they may have the benefit of the sound bites, but internal thoughts give way to scenery, smells, tastes…

    November 6, 2011 at 4:40 pm

  3. Thanks Ellie;) And yes, you are right there. Our imaginations lay the foundation for great stories, we just need to be given some bricks and mortar by the writer when we are reading or…. listening;)

    November 7, 2011 at 9:01 am

  4. Hmm…when I read, I tend not to find superfluous amounts of description. There may be some here and there, but not a lot. What are your thoughts on this?

    November 14, 2011 at 3:39 am

  5. I think description needs to be felt, seen, heard and sometimes even tasted. BUT…that doesn’t mean overdoing it to the point of exaggeration. I alway notice description when I read (as I notice structure and a million other things that distract from actually reading for enjoyment) and I notice a lack of description as well. I also believe that setting plays just as key a role as characters do, so if all I hear is dialogue, I notice. I like a nice even flow that doesn’t disrupt but rather adds to the story. Overall, yeah, I want to see that hill and smell those flowers–it’s up to the author to convey those senses to me. I want to feel what the writer felt when the story was written…or close. That doesn’t mean they have to use 100,000 words to convey it. Less is better if it’s strong–but just as weak as over exaggeration if it’s weak.

    I should add that I am reading and writing fantasy, paranormal and sci/fi mostly, so if I just landed on another planet in a different realm–I’d damn well better believe it;)

    November 14, 2011 at 10:00 am

    • Extraneous dialogue and little description = Extraneous description and little dialogue, which both are as weak as one another?

      November 26, 2011 at 10:53 pm

  6. Agreed.

    November 27, 2011 at 10:49 am


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