As I began writing and even now, one of the things I’ve struggled with in my stories is description. I just don’t have enough, and it doesn’t paint a picture. I know that I need to work on it, and as I’ve written and edited more, it’s still one of my weaknesses.
When I consciously think about it, I force myself to stop and describe the surroundings. Where are my characters? What are they wearing? If I had to draw a map of the setting, what would it look like? These questions help me expand on my setting and improve my description, but even then, it’s not enough. Sometimes even I’m not sure what the setting is. Sometimes I know, but I don’t know how to describe it. Sometimes I imagine my characters in a certain place for a certain scene, but when I put it all together, it doesn’t make sense.
Even when I can see something in my mind, I’m not very good at describing it. Often times, I don’t know how to put it into words. My descriptions fall short, full of words like thing, painting just the simplest picture. It’s hard to translate the image I see in my mind to paper, to show other people what I’m seeing. It’s easier when I can point at something similar and compare.
When I read novels that have a lot of description, I find myself focusing on the words, trying to learn the language. In my writing and editing processes, just knowing that description is a weak point helps me focus and improve on it. My description is still far from great, but as I continue to learn how to paint a picture, different words, adding details even to the simple things, I can improve and strive towards what I want to be: a better writer.