Imagine your place on the bookshelf of the future

Neil Spring, author of The Watchers

How can a writer improve their descriptive writing?

Don’t be boring. When I’m writing descriptive scenes, I try reminding myself of this, over and over. Don’t be boring. Keep it short, keep it relevant and don’t be boring. Include details that are pertinent to the plot, the mood, a character’s thoughts, or to the atmosphere, and never lose sight of the objective in imparting this information. Good descriptions don’t just evoke a sense of time and place, they kindle curiosity, keep a reader interested in your story and exemplify its themes. One way to improve his skill is to train yourself to become more observant on a day-to-day basis. Just noting mental descriptions of events, people and places can be helpful. That elderly woman sitting opposite you on the bus…weighed down with shopping bags. Her limp grey hair. The spiderweb of lines around her eyes as she watches a young mother struggle with a pram. What’s she thinking? What’s she hoping for, or remembering? I find myself making mental notes like that all the time. I get some odd looks!

About Neil Spring

Neil Spring was born in south Wales in 1981. He started writing at the age of twenty-eight. Between 1999 and 2002 he studied philosophy, politics and economics at Somerville College, …

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Neil Spring