1-Limit exposition. It’s important to describe the setting right at the beginning of a scene, so your reader can imagine the characters in place. Writing a book is like directing a movie in somebody else’s brain, but don’t overdo it! Don’t bore your reader to death! How? Mix exposition and dialogue (I will have a separate blog on dialogue).
4-Choose verbs nouns carefully. More specific can be powerful in conveying a mood! Read a lot and help yourself with thesaurus, but before you use some ass-backward archaic word that does not jive with your narration do your research! Not all synonyms are created equal, get the flavor of a word, read it in context, google it.
6-Show don’t tell. This is more useful for characters, but rather than saying that Annie was annoyed, let the reader infer that from a roll of her eyes. Rather than saying Jenny was beautiful, have someone blush and lower their gaze when they see her. Convey descriptions through gestures and emotions.
In the following example I only made up one character, which is harder, because I can’t have dialogue to help me. So I put in Italic her thoughts, to break the narration :)
Bad description- Annie walked slowly in the tall, gray deserted building. The floor was ruined and uneven, littered with garbage and debris. She was scared. She had never been there before. The musty walls were covered in musk and felt like they were closing in. She knew there were fifteen floors above hear head and she had to climb them all on an old, rusty stair that missed several steps. She walked toward it faster. Blah blah blah.
This description is jarring. As I read it I feel like every sentence is a piece of a puzzle building the scene in my brain. I am trying to see Annie and her location and the description keeps getting in the way of me becoming Annie. Bad, bad, bad!
Better description- Annie crawled into the deserted building, her heart racing. As her eyes adjusted to the dim light she was overpowered by the dank smell dripping from the walls. Oh, god, are they closing in? She took a deep breath and stalked to the rickety stairs. Fifteen floors, and several missing steps. I can do it. I can do it.
I am Annie. I know what she thinks, what she feels, smells, sees. I want Annie to be ok. I want to keep reading.
Thank you for reading and happy writing ^_^