Fiction Writer’s Newsletter – March 2016

The Fiction Writer’s Toolbox


Helping You Write Better Fiction


Welcome to this edition of the Fiction Writer’s Toolbox. March is here. In the Northern Hemisphere that means flowers will be blooming and the earth will burst forth with beautiful color. It’s a great time to hone your skills of description writing.

If you live in the Southern Hemisphere, you’re gearing up for cold weather, maybe even some snow. It’s also a great time to write some descriptions.

Writing Descriptions

What is Descriptive Writing?

In this article at Writing Forward, Melissa Donovan has some good examples of how to use descriptions in your fiction writing. Telling the reader your Hero has brown eyes and blue eyes can bore them to death. Read some the examples here to discover new ways to work these types of descriptions into your writing.

Read the article ==> What is Descriptive Writing? (opens in new tab/window)

Descriptive Writing From the Senses

Most descriptive writing uses one or more of the five senses, of course. When writing fiction, you want to purposely bring certain emotions or reactions out by using the senses.

In this article,  Susan Leigh Noble offers some great information.

Read the article ==> Using Sight, Sound, Smells, Taste and Touch to Enhance Your Writing (opens in new tab/window)

Writing Craft Corner

Hone Your Descriptive Writing Skills

This month, spend some time writing descriptions. It can be something you work on from your current story, or tidbits you can add to your Writer’s Toolbox to use later. Try to show it instead of telling it.

Here’s an example:

Telling: The coffee pot was half full of coffee. John needed coffee to revive himself in his bleak surroundings.

Showing: The clear carafe displayed the rich darkness of his caffeine fix. The fix he needed so desperately. His bleak surroundings, in this hazy gray hospital corridor, had left him with a feeling of sunken-ness.

Notes/Thoughts From the Editor

I’d like to share a couple of thoughts and tips on adding descriptions to your stories. During the writing process, or your practice time you want to get a little carried away. Go overboard. You’ll cut most of it out in the editing process, but it’s great practice and it sparks the creative side of your brain.

However, be careful with your finished story. Writers could get away with lots of flowery prose and room descriptions in the past, but these days readers just don’t care. Unless it’s important, don’t describe too much, especially if your Hero or Heroine walks into a beautiful room. A simple gasp at the beauty of the room will suffice. Now, if there’s an object in that room that will later play an important part in the story, you may want to do a “skim description” and be sure to mention the item.

See this wiki about Chekhov’s Gun, for more information.

Motivation for Writers


Book Recommendation

Have You Seen This Girl

This is a book I read recently and couldn’t put it down. Almost everyone I’ve talked to who started reading it couldn’t put it down. In the beginning, you may think it’s a story about drug addiction…but you’ll be surprised if you keep reading. The Kindle version is free, so if you like suspense and a good story…go grab it.


Your Thoughts

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