We’ve all been warned about the dangers of using too much description. Readers don’t want to read three paragraphs about a sunset, we’re told. Description slows down a story; it’s boring and self-indulgent. You should keep your description as short and simple as possible. For those who take a more scientific approach to writing fiction, arbitrary rules abound: One sentence per paragraph. One paragraph per page. And, for god’s sake, “Never open a book with weather” (Elmore Leonard).
But what this conventional wedding wisdom fails to take into account is the difference between static and dynamic description. Static description is usually boring. It exists almost like a painted backdrop to a play. As the name suggests, it doesn’t move, doesn’t interact or get interacted with.
There were clouds in the sky. Her hair was red with hints of orange. The house had brown carpeting and yellow countertops.
In moderation, there’s nothing wrong with static description. Sometimes, facts are facts, and you need to communicate them to the reader in a straightforward manner.
But too much static description, and readers will start to skim forward. They don’t want to read about what the house looks like or the stormy weather or the hair color of each of your protagonist’s seventeen cousins.
Why? Because they can tell it’s not important. They can afford to skip all of your description because their understanding of the story will not be impacted.
That’s where dynamic description comes in. Dynamic description is a living entity. It’s interactive, it’s relevant. It takes on the voices of your narrators and characters. In short, it gives us important information about the story, and it can’t be skimmed over.
So how do you make your description more dynamic so that it engages your readers and adds color and excitement to your story? Here are a few tips.
(I have a TON more tips about setting and description. These are just a few. But I’m trying to keep this short, so if you have any questions or want more advice about this, please feel free to ask me.)
stolen century taako getting hit with a sleeping beauty curse gone wrong. the spell is supposed to be “he’s asleep until his true love kisses him” and it doesn’t quite work out. instead, everyone in the ipre loves him enough that they can bring him out of it and they can do it with any physical contact - but as soon as they stop touching him, he falls asleep again
this leads to some pretty creative solutions; there’s a lot of hand holding and taako wears a lot of sleeveless shirts so that one of them can put a hand on his shoulder. at one point he and barry fight an entire battle with their arms linked. when they’re on the starblaster, he mostly just follows lup around, but anyone will do in a pinch; one time lup steps away too quickly and merle has to dive for taako’s bare ankle to stop him from passing out into the skillet
when the year is over, lup is surprised and amused when he crawls into her bed (barry shifting over sleepily without any questions) and curls up against her. “thought you would have had enough cuddling for the next several years,” she says, taako responds, but his words are muffled by the pillow. “what?” she asks.
“missed sleeping next to you,” he says, and on lup’s other side barry kindly resolves to never tell the others about this particular moment of vulnerability
Yuuri tore across the ship so quickly that the claw tips curling off his feet left scores in the wood. He found the doctor still asleep and had no hesitation in shaking him from it. When Emil’s eyes opened, wide but housing the haze of slumber, the siren forgot his usual caution.
“Wake up! Victor, he’s— Help Victor! Help him, now!”
Emil had no chance to question Yuuri’s panic. His legs swept him from his cot without his explicit intention, whisking him from the crew quarters to Victor’s cabin. Yuuri shouted ‘hurry!’ after him and Emil obeyed, nearly falling over his own disobedient feet.
In their room, Emil leant over a stirring Victor and examined the wound. He pressed lightly on the flesh around the stitches and heard a strained hiss.
“That doesn’t feel good,” Victor muttered, silver lashes fluttering to half mast.
“It doesn’t look good,” Emil replied, his usual upbeat tone low. “I need to open it, Victor…”
“I’ll survive,” Victor said, leaning back on his pillows. His eyes shifted to Yuuri and he smiled, the curve of his full lips missing the strength with which Yuuri had grown so familiar. “Good morning, lovebird.”
Yuuri wanted to scream as Emil ran out, still under the influence of Yuuri’s command. His heart skipped over itself, tripping and crying inside his chest. He watched, kneeling at the edge of the bed, when Emil returned to redress the wound.
The doctor cut away the stitches from the day before, draining out the signs of infection. Victor had set the corner of a cushion between his teeth, eyes screwed shut and jaw clenched. Emil splashed the wound with alcohol and resealed it with new stitches.
From his medicine box, Emil mixed dried roots into a drink that emitted an odor that filled the room with bitterness. Victor swallowed it with nothing more than a grimace and a relieved sigh when the cup was emptied of mouthfuls.
The humor from the previous day was absent when Emil turned to Yuuri. “With the gunshot being where it is, there’s not much more I can do. We just gotta hope he can fight it.”
By afternoon, Victor’s fever raged and the red of the infection spread. His bandages and bedding grew damp with sweat. No matter how many times Yuuri whispered ‘heal’ through choked breaths, it didn’t. Victor’s warm fingers crawled across the bed and wrapped around Yuuri’s, holding on for support. Too warm. Too hot.
“Stay with me, lovebird…”
Yuuri ripped his hand away and fled. He scrambled out, onto the deck, and bolted for the edge of the ship. His wings, molting, still barely formed, beat hard enough to blow the ship off course. He dropped straight down and hit the ocean, screeching through his tears.
Wings straining, feathers shedding, Yuuri forced himself into the air, through the pain, and flew for the horizon. He forgot to command Victor to ‘live.’
After the conversation we shared I muted the conversation, there was nothing I wanted to hear anymore and nothing I wanted to do but sleep. I was curious of what they had to say, if anything at all but at the same time I didn’t want to know because they probably don’t think it’s a big deal they’ve missed my birthday three years in a row. I sat at my dining room table, staring at the candlelit cake in front of me. It was their favourite, strawberry flavour and just looking at it reminded me of them and how they won’t be here again to share this too large cake for one with me.
For so long I believed that we were best friends, that we were inseparable and nothing or no one could come between the friendship we shared because we had been through so much with one another. But I was wrong. They let her get between us. I don’t want to be a selfish brat that I’m seeming to be, but they just forgot me so easily after spending a week with her, wouldn’t that hurt you? They used to be the first people to say happy birthday to me, even if they were away they’d never forget to FaceTime me at 12am - but this year, even though we were supposed to celebrate, they didn’t call at 12, they didn’t send me a text. Because they forgot, and they left me waiting for them like a fool standing outside the restaurant in the winter cold holding my own birthday cake. They promised. They promised that they were going to celebrate with me this year for sure, they even made sure they had no schedule clashes today so that we could celebrate, but just like that they forgot and I was replaced with someone new, someone better.
People looked at me funny, people who walked into the restaurant, had their meal and came back out to see me still standing there alone - they all looked at me with pity in their eyes. ‘That girl must’ve got stood up’ must be what they were all thinking. Yeah I was stood up by my seven best friends. The entire week they’ve been hanging out, the entire week they’ve dismissed me. ‘If it was important we would have remembered’ ‘Clearly wasn’t all that important’, that hurt to say the least, it only told me how much I didn’t mean to them, making it clear to me that they don’t need me in their lives anymore because they have someone new, someone that let’s them have the personal space that they needed and I understood now. I was only ever thinking of myself and what I wanted. Maybe they didn’t forget, maybe this was their way to tell me that our friendship is over.
I blew out the candle without making a wish, wishes don’t come true. I’ve wished for the same thing the last two years and each following year I end up getting disappointed. I crawled into bed and went to sleep, eyes slightly wet from crying. But a few hours later, I heard my phone ring; I picked up without even checking the caller ID.
International ARMY before reading Pied Piper lyrics:
I'M CRYING such a good and deep song ugh my heart.
International ARMY after reading Pied Piper lyrics:
EXCUSE YOU BTS, do you want me to crawl into yo' bed or are you trying to reprimand me for neglecting almost every other aspect of my life for you? TELL ME.
the part in valley of fear when watson describes, completely apropos of nothing, holmes coming home in the middle of the night and crawling into bed with him and asking him if he’d still love him if he was an idiot 🔎 👁️
Warnings: SMUT 💦, swearing, mentions of abuse/violence
Disclaimer: I do not condone Billy’s behaviour or views on the show, nor do I intend to romanticise racism or abuse.
Authors Note: I got a bit carried away on this one lmao. Hope you all like it! Let me know! I’m also accepting requests for Stranger Things. To everyone that has read the previous parts and sent me messages, thank you so much! Your support means the world to me. Also so many thanks to @juiceboxxortiz for reading through and checking it even though you don’t watch Stranger Things. You are the best 💕💕💕