Many writers dread writing descriptions. It’s difficult to know what to include, and it requires a lot of mental energy to summon interesting details from one’s imagination. Description can involve the setting, an object, a character, actions, and even internal thoughts. It might entail an artfully placed sentence dancing between dialogue; a paragraph that grounds the reader in the scene; or pages of prose that sink deep into a particular subject.
Here, I share five guiding principles for describing a scene, along with five additional advanced strategies with in-depth examples.