Description “ . . . is more than the amassing of details; it is bringing something to life by carefully choosing and arranging words and phrases to produce the desired effect,” according to Writing from A to Z, edited by Kirk Polking.
Todd A. Stone, in Novelist’s Boot Camp, observes that “Good description has a purpose (or purposes) other than description. Description is not an end in itself; you don’t write a sentence, paragraph, or passage with the single goal of providing description. The purpose of fiction is to cause the reader to have an emotional experience. Description is just one more tool for achieving that purpose . . . .”
When broadly defined, description encompasses almost all written fiction. But even when description is narrowly defined so as not to overlap other fiction-writing modes, writers face numerous issues:
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