There are times when I’m writing and I’m totally in the groove. I’m in the moment, writing and it’s moving along well then I have a scene that needs detailed description that I know will not only slow me down, but possibly derail my thought train. I have a conundrum. I don’t want to stop to describe the walls or carpet,. I want to write, so I’ll plop an (Insert description here) and keep going.
This is totally okay. In fact, I heartily encourage this from my own experience. Here are a few reasons why leaving descriptions until later is a good choice for me.
- Story flow and ideas will be stifled by slowing down to describe Sasha’s haircut and colour
- The juices are flowing and describing the apartment will cause the events to slip away
- I’m not overly familiar with how a police officer’s office might look and it requires research or a bit more time to imagine it correctly
- I haven’t decided exactly how the office layout will be, so I let it go for now.
- I know an outside distraction could occur any moment, I need to get my ideas down, and descriptions can wait.
- When I need to consult a map and that’s time consuming
Part of the reason I do this is not to interrupt my creativity the other part is that I want scenarios, descriptions to be perfect, and a part of the story not a separate entity. Sometimes I need to write the scene before I can determine exactly where they are. I have even changed the location of a confrontation or dialogue solely because what I first imagined wasn’t quite good enough.
Things I’ll describe later because I’m in the groove.
A person’s appearance (Less is more IMO)
The setting for a scene
An object of fascination or use
A place I’m not familiar with and requires research
A task or job I need to research further
An object that I’m not familiar with or it’s use
A food/drink I haven’t had before, so need to try before writing about it.
The point is that I often find myself wanting to write the story and not stop to focus on the little things that make the story savory. I can add them later or during revision as long as I leave myself a reminder.
My advice about Place markers.
They can be helpful. I do however recommend making them stand out by highlighting them in some way.
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