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Judith Evicci, Technical, Creative Nonfiction and Content Writer

Steven King Review #1 Description

This writing is a review of a portion of Stephen King’s book “On Writing, Published in 2000. There are a few definitions taken from other sources as well as comments by the author of this article. Any original ideas are those of Mr. King. Steven King's Website

Notes on Writing Description

Description is how you write about the 5 + 1 senses.

The 5 + 1 senses are: See, Hear, Smell, Taste, Feel, plus Know.  Description creates a sensory reality for the reader.

Description gives locality, plus texture of the story, plus detail to allow the reader to see the location clearly.

Locale and texture are much more important to the reader’s sense of actually being in the story, than any physical description of the players.

Good description usually consists of a few well-chosen details that will stand for everything else. These details are usually the first visualized details that come to mind.

Call up a vision of the place. I call it the Mental Eye. It gets better with use. Open all senses, like a mental recall.

Per Stephen King:
The first four things, which come to mind when I think of Palm Too (bar), are:

(a) the darkness of the bar and the contrasting brightness of the back bar mirror, which catches and reflects light from the street;

(b) The sawdust on the floor;

(c) The funky cartoon caricatures on the walls;

(d) The smells of cooking steak and fish.

The language can be straightforward or figurative (poetic/literary).

Simile, Metaphor and Symbolism:

Simile compares two unrelated objects; “is like...”
It allows the writer and the reader to participate together in a kind of miracle that generates beauty or clarity.  We see an old thing in a new vivid way:  a cave and a bar; a mirror and a mirage.

Metaphor – States that something “is.”
He is a rock in the family. He has the attributes of a rock.  Metaphor is present in the oldest written Sumerian language narrative, the Epic of


How would you describe it in words?


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