There are many ways to describe something. Minimalistic, flowery, to-the-point, extravagant. There are many ways to structure the descriptions of objects, people and settings. Long sentences, short ones, flowing paragraphs and short, broken sentences. Every one is part of an author’s style and can work in any circumstance. Here are a few tips that might work if you’re feeling down about your descriptions.
1. Make an image or images in your mind. This way you know what you’re trying to put on paper. Now there is the task of actually putting it on paper. Depending on how the image makes your or characters feel, some music may help here.
2. Only add as many details as necessary. Of course, necessary is rather subjective. A first person narrator who is infatuated with a certain person or nostalgic about a certain place may use more, and different words, than a third person, objective omniscient narrator might. An omniscient narrator may describe the majesty of something more than an unimpressed passerby. This isn’t to say that you should go crazy in those kinds of situation. Keep it relevant and related to the one telling the story.
3. Do it if it feels right. Like anything in writing, you shouldn’t force it. If you feel like adding what seems like an odd detail at the time, put it in and see if it still feels right when reviewing your own piece. That way you can feel more confident about your writing and your descriptions.
4. Make notes. If you’re feeling uninspired, write down a few sentences or words you have on hand and come back to the piece later. In an environment more conducive to free thought than your writing station, you may find yourself inspired by something. Write it down, be it a snippet for your description or even something as important as a piece of plot. Save it somewhere.
5. Relax and write