Improving Descriptive Writing Painting an Original Picture Purpose of Descriptive Writing



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Improving Descriptive Writing

  • Painting an Original Picture

Purpose of Descriptive Writing

  • Describe something in an original and unique so that it appeals to the five senses
  • Touch it
  • Taste it
  • Hear it
  • See it
  • Smell it

Keys of Being Descriptive

  • Be original
  • Be creative
  • Stretch your imagination
  • For example, instead of this:
  • The hot, yellow sun went behind the mountain and covered the valley in red.
  • The sun cut itself on a sharp peak and bled into the valley.—John Steinbeck
  • Try this:

How’s This?

  • She was super hero beautiful. Her hair was as black as coal, her lips red as blood.
  • Is it original and creative?

Clichés: The Descriptive Killer

  • 1 : a trite phrase or expression; Also : the idea expressed by it
  • 2 : something (as a menu item) that has become overly familiar or commonplace

Finding Clichés Through Experience

  • If you have seen it
  • Or heard it
  • It’s probably a cliché

Finding Clichés Through Others

  • Ask someone really old
  • (You know, anyone over 21)

Finding Clichés On-line

  • Choose a keyword to look up
  • Go to a cliché website and look up the keyword
  • Cliché finder is one of the best places to look: http://www.westegg.Com/cliche/
  • You may have to try more than one keyword

Fixing Clichés

  • Identify the clichés
  • Replace them with more descriptive writing
    • Think of a new comparison
    • Look up words in a thesaurus
    • www.m-w.com

A Little Practice

  • Each of you will be given a poem
  • Identify ALL the clichés
  • Replace half of them (you can choose the easiest ones if you’d like)
  • Don’t worry about making it rhyme
  • We’ll do the first stanza together

Which of the following do think are clichés?

  • She’s as pure as the driven snow,
  • Her nails as red as a beet.
  • She’s as pure as the driven snow,
  • Her face is as white as a sheet,
  • Her hands are as smooth as silk,
  • Her nails as red as a beet.

She’s as pure as the driven snow,

  • She’s as pure as the driven snow,
  • Her face is as white as a sheet,
  • Her hands are as smooth as silk,
  • Her nails as red as a beet.
  • Her hair is like the golden sun,
  • Her eyes blue like the sky,
  • She’s as beautiful as an angel,
  • and as hot as a firecracker on the 4th of July.
  • Her temper is as quick as lightning,
  • Her hatred cold as ice,
  • Her laughter is loud and clear,
  • But her crying is as quiet as mice.
  • Her beauty may be skin deep,
  • But her mind is as sharp as a knife.
  • I’m just small potatoes,
  • And she seems larger than life
  • They say she’s one in a million,
  • But I don’t believe what they say.
  • If she’s all that and a bag of chips,
  • Why say it with a cliché?
  • Same Old New Girl
  • Assignments turned in tomorrow at the beginning of class will be eligible for full credit


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