I’ll See It When I Read It

I'll See It When I Read It

Subhadra M., Staff Writer

     Picture a beautiful day. The skies are azure, and the sun is turning the crisp air golden and warm. The vibrant green plants are swaying in a sweet, cool breeze. The tangible silence of the world is a soothing whisper in your ears. 

     In art and media, it’s easy to capture things that are hard to put into words. When you’re actually using words, that becomes a whole different problem. Visualization is the key to good writing and description, and I’ve figured out an easy way for you to do it.

     First, try to think about what it is that you’re writing. For example, think about a storm. Imagine what kind of rain is outside. Maybe there isn’t any rain at all, and you’re writing about a blizzard. Envision every detail of the storm, down to the shape of the clouds. Every single detail should jump out at you. That way, it’ll do the same for your reader. It would almost be like reading in ultra-high definition.

     Next, come up with your descriptive phrases. You’re not at the final product, but this is the base for it. Try to use the best adjectives and nouns you can. For example, you could say, “the pounding rain” or “the swirling grey storm clouds.” Have this list in your head; it’s crucial that you have these phrases arrayed the way you want them to be. Put them in order of how you want the scene to be described. Here’s a tip: talk about the most important feature last so that it sticks in the reader’s mind.

     Last, put them all into sentences. “The pounding rain” and “the swirling grey storm clouds” can become something like this. The swirling grey storm clouds released a torrent of pounding rain. Pretty cool, right? All of this comes from observing your mental space’s recreation of the same thing. If you’re having trouble with visualizing the scene you want to write, you can always look up reference photos. They’re tremendously helpful in helping you describe something you’ve never seen before, such as a tundra filled with swirling snow or a blisteringly hot desert. (See what I did there?)

     With a few well-placed adjectives and a vision in your mind, descriptive writing will become so much easier. Eventually, you might get to the point where you don’t even need these steps. Until then, though, dream (and visualize) on!