Using Descriptive and Figurative Language

Use a Wide Range of Descriptive Language

Descriptive language is a powerful tool in creative writing. It’s the difference between painting a picture with broad strokes and adding in the fine details that make a scene come alive. This includes the use of adjectives, adverbs and sensory words that can make your narrative more vivid and engaging.

  • Adjectives and adverbs add colour and depth to your sentences. They allow you to describe characters and settings in a way that goes beyond the basic. For example, instead of saying “the dog barked”, you could say “the large, menacing dog barked loudly”, instantly creating a more vivid image in the reader’s mind.
  • Sensory words are those that appeal to our five senses – sight, sound, smell, touch and taste. They help your reader to not just see, but also feel, smell, hear and taste the world you’re creating. When describing a scene, think about what your characters would be experiencing through their senses. What do they see, hear, smell, taste and feel? 

Using a thesaurus can be a great way to discover a wider range of descriptive words. If you find yourself using the same words repeatedly, look them up in a thesaurus to find alternatives. This can help to keep your writing fresh and interesting.

Figurative Language Techniques

Figurative language, such as similes, metaphors, and personification, can convey meaning in a creative and impactful way. Similes compare two things using ‘like’ or ‘as’, metaphors make a direct comparison and personification gives human qualities to non-human things.

Use figurative language to express complex ideas or emotions, create imagery or add depth to your writing. But use it sparingly and make sure it fits with the tone and style of your story.

Varying Language and Style

Varying your language and style can make your writing more engaging and suit different genres, characters or moods. For example, a horror story might use dark, eerie descriptions, while an adventure story might use dynamic, exhilarating language.

Consider the genre, characters and mood of your story when choosing your language and style. Experiment with different techniques and find what works best for your story.

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