David Farland’s Writing Tips—Deepening Your Descriptions

Part of the problem is weak adjectives. “Stone wall” doesn’t tell us how big the stones are or the color. We don’t know if they’re held together with concrete or carved to fit together like a Mayan temple. And “small”. What the heck is a small house? Is this forty square feet, or 400, or 4000? The idea of “small” can vary from one reader to another.

So you need to begin filling in some details. First of all, what color is this house? Are we in a country where houses are painted vibrant colors like magenta and banana, or is this a stoic little bland white house?

What does the roof look like? Is it made of slate, or cedar shingles, or perhaps thatch?  For that matter, what are the walls made of? I know of a fellow who used glass bricks that he made from recycled bottles. Or is it made of river stone? Or bamboo mats? Or logs?