One thing that I’m often asked about, when it comes to my writing, is how I come up with such descriptive text. People are often very interested in how deep I will go to describe something. I’ve never been a fan of stories where, key elements are left up to the imagination of the reader. I like the scene to be spoon fed to me. I want to see exactly what the author saw when he was writing the page.
I remember watching an episode of “Bones,” where one of the characters was shopping his manuscript around to a few of his colleagues and friends in order to get their thoughts on whether it was good enough for public consumption. The ongoing joke was that he might have been too descriptive on some of the story’s ‘less important’ elements. In one scene, a character mocks him for taking six pages to describe a sunset. While six pages may be a bit excessive by anyone’s standards, I’m certain he was able to paint the exact picture into the readers mind that he was seeing during the writing process. That’s the tactic I try my hardest to execute.
For instance, in YESTERDAY’S POST, I mentioned a Japanese demon called a “shirime.” Now, the shirime has its own preexisting lore, so there isn’t too much about it that I would need to harp on to let you know that my story contains one. However, for a good read, I’d prefer to give a bit more of a cosmetic allure to the creature. Being in the presence of an “eyeball in the butt” ass monster would probably make for a good creepy read, but wouldn’t you prefer a bit of seasoning on that?
—The soft wales came from outside. A child…no…an old woman was calling for me, begging for my help without saying my name.
I could see the silhouette of her body, laying in the grass beyond my bedroom window. She was twitching, on all fours as if she was eating something in the bushes. Something outside, no her voice, beckoned for me. She wanted me to come and see. She wanted me to witness what she had found. Her cadence was inviting, almost friendly. I could tell it was safe.
I walked to the door, opening it without hesitation. She wanted me.
I rushed to the grass clearing where she lay, her head was facing away from me. I could see her body clearly. Her nudity had been hidden from me, but now I could see all of her. Her oily alabaster skin muted the moonlight as it shone down on her, giving off no reflection. She was gray amongst the dimly lit lawn. Tattered cloth hung from her in different areas, leaving her breast and rear exposed. Her fingers were pressed heavily into the ground, hiding the nails beneath the earth. Her head—balding, turned to face me. It was featureless, just a belt of flesh pulled tightly over the organs it surrounded.
Fear swam through me, but the utter compulsion to move closer to her took hold. She spread her legs, raising her buttock towards my face. The muscles in the hips flexed as the sinew between the cheeks stretched and began to break, release spoonfuls of putrid mucus to run freely down her thighs. Long, staggered lashes spread from within her seam. A large eye blinked into the night, revealing a goats iris.
“Hideous.” It was the only thought my mind could form. The creature crawled towards me as it commanded me to move closer to her. My body moved without my permission. My vision began to fade. The chill of the night air became a faint memory. The night disappeared. Her voice became my breath as I became nothing more than her prey. —
As you can see, I chose to spend time detailing more things than what would have been necessary to convey what actually happened to my protagonist. For the purpose of a blog, I left a few things a bit more open than I’m typically comfortable with, but I wanted this post to be digestible in a single sitting.
I hope this gave you a good look into my process of story telling. If you like it, go ahead and mash that like button. If you didn’t, say something rude in the comments and then hit that follow button. That’ll teach me good!
Join us next week for another deep dive into my process with another…Workshop Wednesday!
“The shirime needs to appear in a movie, ASAP!” — Jae Davis