Elements of Descriptive Writing (part 1) -By Bethany Hall

My heart was very happy to see this in my email this morning – by Toni Parks
February 6, 2017
Elements of Descriptive Writing (part 2)- by Bethany Hall
February 13, 2017
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Speaking in English is challenging enough, but writing in English creatively injects an additional hurdle. Writing creatively requires more than just a large vocabulary of adjectives. Meet Bethany Hall. Bethany is going to share her ideas about descriptive writing that will help you “kick it up a notch”, in the words of my favorite Chef Emeril Legasse.

Elements of Descriptive Writing  -By Bethany Hall

As lovers and students of the English language, we have many tools at our disposal:

1)We can use our knowledge of the language to persuade.

2)We can use our extensive vocabularies to impress but, perhaps, the most fun element of our language is to paint mental pictures.

3)We can create, quite accurately, an image with words and relay emotion with a few well-placed adjectives.

4)We can convince a person of the intensity of an event by using verbs and transform an ordinary object into a life-like anomaly. This phenomenon of the English language is descriptive writing.

Sensory Details

The first element of descriptive writing is sensory details. This means that the writer appeals to the reader’s senses, that is, sight, sound, taste, touch and smell. This way the reader can imagine or create a mental image of what the writer is describing.

Image result for senses

We do not need to appeal to every sense in every piece of writing. This would make the writing feel forced and clumsy. If we are trying to describe a beautiful painting, we would not describe what it tastes like or what it smells like. These things would seem silly to the reader.

On the other hand, if we were trying to describe a freshly baked cookie we could describe what it looks like, what it tastes like, what it feels like, what it smells like and what it sounds like, e.g.  The heavenly aroma of the baked goods filled the house(smell). The cookies still lay on their baking tray. Each perfectly round with generous chocolate globs, gooey and inviting(sight). They were still slightly warm, light and airy(touch). A crisp and clear CRUNCH echoed through the room when the first bite was taken(sound). They tasted exactly as they should, sweet, delicious and like home(taste).

Come back tomorrow for part 2 and see what other elements Bethany has to share. In the mean time check out this list of descriptive words 

http://descriptivewords.org/

and come on over and schedule a writing lesson with Aaron, Kristen, or Toni.

 

 

Image result for plate of cookies

 

 

Bethany Hall is a writer from South Africa,with a degree in Linguistics and English, and experience in content writing, technical writing and journalism. She has a versatile writing style and vast knowledge of the English language and its outworkings.

Bethany Hall
Bethany Hall
"Hi there! My name is Bethany and I am the biggest English nerd you will ever meet! I have studied English and Linguistics to make sure that I have a full and complete understanding of the language that I love so much. I also have a teaching certificate so that I can better teach my students to understand and love the English language as much as I do." Bethany Hall is a writer from South Africa,with a degree in Linguistics and English, and experience in content writing, technical writing and journalism. She has a versatile writing style and vast knowledge of the English language and its outworkings. Bethany is also an English Teacher for World's English.

2 Comments

  1. World's English says:

    I’m inspired!

  2. Diane van Breda says:

    Oh wow Beth…a super piece of descriptive writing. I could almost smell and taste those cookies. ?

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