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Descriptive Writing

I am revisiting my description language.  As a poet, you’d think I’ve had it down, but no.  I am comfortable writing plays and maybe I should be writing screenplays, but I feel called to write the novel (and five more) so that’s what I am doing.

Mark Twain  said when a writer needs to describe something he had better go within, that descriptions based on external realities does not work.

I don’t know enough about descriptive writing to know if this is wise advice, but I tend to think that Mark Twain knew about writing better than anyone else writing in American.

What works for you?    How did you get comfortable with descriptive writing and do you have any tricks that you could share with us?

I keep a checklist to make sure that my descriptions have visuals, sounds, touch, sensing, tasting and smelling.  Not every time, but I tend to drop out the sounds in the story,  if I don’t watch it.

What works for you when describing something in your writing?  Do any of you develop writer’s block when you are working on something that isn’t your strong point like description is for me?


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