Tricky Terminology

Wording means everything in writing. Without the proper phrases and sayings a story is just a mangled mass of letters. Learning how to properly paint a story with your own creative touch can be trying and it’s something that I myself have yet to fully master. But lately it is the connections that I have been making with the world around me that is fueling my own skills.

For years I have heard English professors and creative writing teachers go on and on about the importance of descriptive writing. It sounds good enough when you’re a budding student but when actually working to use those lessons and put them into practice I found myself frustrated. I know I don’t want to read five paragraphs describing the gold embroidery on some fictitious characters cloak and that seems to be where a lot of writers are going. It’s either too much or not enough.

It wasn’t until I finally started reading some Edgar Rice Burroughs that I got it. I love his work. But I don’t consider the books of Barsoom descriptive so much as detailed. And it was in that conscious notion that the light bulb went off. I, like many people I know, need to have the proper wording to really “get” something. Descriptive writing to me is like Hemingway, an old man going on and on about the different colors and texture of the crap around him. (Sorry Hemingway lovers) What I want is detailed writing, I want to smell, taste, feel the scene I’m reading, not just see it. Details, it all comes down to details.

This revelation is helping me immensely as I have always known that world building is my main weakness (among other things). My most recent work is coming along nicely and has much more detail than I thought possible. We’ll see how it is accepted. 

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