Descriptive Writing Notes
Description presents a verbal portrait of something concrete like a person, place, or thing; or something abstract such as an emotion or quality to make a point. Description is not merely a catalogue of facts or a collection of ornaments; like all expository writing, it must make a point or have a purpose. Specific and vivid details make readers experience the subject, and arranging those details logically helps a reader understand why the subject is interesting and significant.
Good description requires:
Imagery – refers to appealing to the readers’ senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch) to actively involve them in the experience. Selection of details is vital to the effect of the mind picture.
Impressions and observations are arranged in an appropriate pattern designed to capture both detail and wholeness. The writer should strive to use lively language which engages the reader intellectually, emotionally, and where appropriate physically!
Position – refers to a chosen slant appropriate to the purpose. Objective positions uses description which is purely factual, uncoloured by any feelings of the writer (e.g. business reports, scientific papers.) Impressionistic or subjective description tinges the factual with the writer’s personal impressions; instead of describing how something is the writer describes how it seems.