All things writing Help in describing a situation

--Celeste--

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Dec 9, 2010
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I am looking for a few tips to describe a situation in a way that it is not dragged on and on. But it is sweet and to the point. For instance, I want to describe a situation in a pub where boy meets girl. What should I do? Describe in a few short words what the scene looks like, the other persons and then concentrate on my main characters?
 
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lrdavis

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I am not great, but I was recently rereading JKR's HP and noticed how she tosses a description amongst the dialogue and action.

If your pub description was:

Dark aged timbers spanned the room and the equally dark panneled walls sported wood framed photos crammed into every possible space. Some pictures, of the local heroes and others, not-so-local-VIP-visitors who had graced the pub and kindly autographed "To Studmann, Love...whomever." A highly polished wood-hewn bar jutted from a side wall and curved around half-way into the room. Red leather benches in high backed booths lined the walls, creating an L-shape to the room. Noise filtered in everytime the entrance door swung open spilling a noisy group of suited worker-bees. The hiss of the micro-brew tap conflicted with the increasing "Happy Hour" customers chatter.

Then you splice the description into the dialogue action:

Jamie hoisted the menu in front of his face, as if he needed to read it. His eyes peered over it, suddenly blocked by a waitress, whose name tag read, "Oh Miss."

"Would you like to order?" The tired voice suggested she'd already worked the first shift and her expectant glance toward the door, when it opened, hinted she was covering another's shift.

"Um, can you give me a minute?" Jamie turned, when the entrance door swung open, and a brisk wind swirled in while five suits--chatting and laughing-spilled into the pub.

"Back in five." The waitress paused, checking the faces of the newcomers, before she headed around a highly polished wood-hewn bar, which jutted from a side wall, and half-way into the room, curved toward the kitchen at the back.

The heavy oak door squeaked open again, assailing the room with cold, but a lone figure stepped in, stopped and surveyed the room. Jamie ducked behind the menu before their eyes could meet. He listened to the soft step pass him, clearly the walk of a cautious man, who hoped he would not be noticed.

Jamie smiled, when he heard the stranger slide into the booth adjacent to him. The red leather bench squeaked under the weight. Jamie peeked around the menu, delighted the man's fedora revealed who he was over the high-backed booth.

"Are you ready to order?" The waitress poised her stubby pencil over her order book.

"The mincemeat pie. A stein of your best lager." Jamie thumbed toward the taps, where the hiss of the micro-brew tap conflicted with the increasing "Happy Hour" customers' chatter.

She grabbed at his menu, but he held firm and grinned. "I'm still deciding about dessert."

With a shrug, she spun and wound her way between the tables littering the center and the booths that lined the walls along an L-shape to the room.


Jamie twisted to examine the photographs of the local heroes and others, not-so-local-VIP-visitors who had graced the pub and kindly autographed "To Studmann, Love...whomever."


"Are you using this chair?" He turned quickly to see one of the suits grabbed an empty one, at the table across from Jamie, without waiting for a response.

The fedora also spun towards the voice and Jamie ducked behind his menu again.


This is not polished, but it hints at a possibility. I wish I could remember the specific passage and I would cut and paste it. It was brilliant.

I hope it helps. I think readers would find the second part easier to read.
 
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