Robots in disguise!…No, no. This is not a post about Transformers (although I giggled when I re-read my title). The title refers to writing descriptions. When you’re setting a scene or trying to explain what a character is going through, it’s not just about what they see in front of them. Don’t neglect the other senses!
You want your reader to be able to immerse themselves in your world and to experience what your characters are going through. That’s one of the best things about reading, in my opinion. When I get goosebumps because an author can make me feel like I’m in the creepy cemetery at night with her hero/heroine, that’s what I consider good writing. When I can feel the sadness of a character and cry along with them, that’s good writing. If the descriptions were flat, I wouldn’t care what the MC(s) were up to and truth be told, I’d probably put the book down and move onto something else.
When you put your character(s) into a situation, be sure to stop and think about what else is going on around them. What do they hear? Is there a distinctive smell? Are they touching something? Does it have a texture? Put yourself in your character’s shoes and close your eyes. How would they figure out what is going on around them if they were in the dark or blindfolded? Would they feel a cold breeze? Hear dripping water or footsteps behind them? Are they eating something? Is it sweet? Sour? How do you react to those tastes? Be sure your characters have reactions that equal their actions.
Also, don’t forget how the body reacts in certain situations: sweats, racing pulse, nervous twitching, teeth chattering. We all seem to remember these things when it comes to sexy time scenes, but remember how the body reacts when people are nervous, excited, sad, etc.
So remember to paint vivid pictures for your readers, but give them an all around experience. Include the smells, sounds and textures of the scenes. Paint them the WHOLE picture.
What kind of descriptions do you find best immerse you in a story?