Photo: John Thomas
Writing involves descriptions. You can’t just drop characters in a formless room and have them, say, swinging swords at each other without interacting with their environment.
That said, you can’t just wax lyrical about the surroundings and forget that you have a story to tell. Personally, I fall into the white-room category, often choosing to err on the side of too little description.
No matter what you choose, though, you should know that there’s a way to instantly spice up your writing, and that’s the use of concrete language. This concept is fairly new to me, and it’s changed the way I look at descriptions, so perhaps it could help you as well.
Photo: Damian Zaleski
I was a stringer for the national newspapers once. My job was to pick up any assignments that the full-time team couldn’t handle, which amounted anywhere from one story every fortnight to two articles a week. That meant that my income was unstable at best, but what made up for it was the lack of daily commute or morning meetings, and all this before the digital nomad movement.
Photo: Alexandru Zdrobau
Would you continue writing even if no one reads your work? On the other hand, would you voluntarily write something meant for your eyes only?
Would the act of expression itself please you? Or would you write only to the promise of monies and adulation?
Oh, don’t look at me that way. I assure you that this question isn’t as silly as it seems. There have been famous authors who didn’t set out to be published, after all.
Sometimes I tell my dog,
‘I love you, understand?’
I know she really doesn’t
But I take her waggy tail
as a reply.
And then they’re days I feel
that something much, much bigger
is giving me what’s best
And all I know is to
curse up towards the heavens
My very little version
of a waggy tail
Photo: Sandhi Soemarto
I’m a fountain-pen enthusiast, and my ultimate pursuit in this hobby involves finding my grail pen. It’s the perfect one that just glides across the page, is ornamented in a way that makes my heart skip, and can take enough of a beating to last multiple lifetimes.
But alas, as any other hobbyist knows, a grail is just an illusion, a placeholder until they find their next one, because there’ll always be something better, or failing that, there’ll always be something wrong.