How to Use the Descriptive Style Of Writing

Is there any form of meaningful writing that doesn’t require a touch of description?


Well, we didn’t think so, either.

In nearly everything you write, whether it’s a fictional project or otherwise, you will need to paint pictures in your readers’ minds. It could be in the scenes of your story, your personal experience with someone/something, explaining a point or the character you’re depicting.

Descriptive writing connects your writing with the senses of sight, smell, feeling, and taste. Therefore, before you even begin writing, you need to answer questions like, ‘What do I want my readers to see? How do I want them to feel?’

You can paint a vivid picture in the minds of your readers to hold their attention and keep them glued to your content. For example, ‘How do I make my readers see that the food is uninviting without using the word “uninviting?”’ In this scenario, the colour and presentation could be a turn-off.

The aim of using descriptions in your writing is for your readers to feel and experience the events portrayed in your writing. This can be a little difficult, which is why we decided to share a few tips on how to use the descriptive style of writing.

Here goes:

1. Leave out obvious descriptions: You may find that you are using predictable descriptions and unnecessary adjectives, which could make your writing look clichéd or lazy.

2. Take a break from the norm: Now that you have taken out the obvious descriptions, you want to bring a twist into your story or content. Throw in some interesting and surprising words to create your story. It will keep your writing fresh and memorable to your readers.

You can use phrases like ‘weeping cloud’ to portray a unique scenario.

This leads us to the final tip.

3. Use sensory details: To follow the common rule of storytelling that says ‘show, don’t tell’, you need to use sensory details in your writing. Let your writing come alive by making it appealing to the senses of your readers.

These sensory details use the five human senses to show what you say to your readers. For example, ‘The pale chicken slice floated in murky fat’. (The chicken was uninviting.)

‘He stumbled into the classroom breathless, just before the bell clanged’. (He ran into the class just before the bell rang.)

However, be careful to not become too descriptive that you forget its essence and the picture you are trying to paint.

There you go, three tips and examples to get you started in descriptive writing.

Remember, Sabi Writers is always here to assist you when the going gets tough.

How to Write Your First Draft

The thought of writing a story can be overwhelming.

Questions like, ‘How do I start? How do I express this idea? What style of writing should I use?’ will run through your mind. These questions are pointers that it’s time to begin your first draft. 

The first draft is also called a rough draft, in that it doesn’t have to be error-free. You are allowed to make mistakes because you have other drafts and opportunities to refine the work. 

It is advisable to have an outline to guide your writing before beginning your rough draft. Once your outline is ready, you’ll need to create a strategy for a seamless writing process.

Here are three tips to adopt as you write your first draft.

1. Follow your outline but be flexible:

Remember when we said a rough draft allows you to get your ideas out of your head? The first draft is an expanded form of your outline. At this stage, you are trying to expand your outline into something meaningful using what you have read and learnt from researching.

Stick to your outline but keep in mind that you may need to change the direction of your writing as you progress. If that happens, be willing to accept the change.

2. Don’t be stopped by mistakes:

Give room for mistakes and errors. Allow your mind to travel far and wide. Turn off your perfectionist button, because trying to verify your spellings or grammar while writing the first draft can become boring, and may kill your flow. You can flesh out and refine your idea to fit your style later.

3. Pace yourself:

Set deadlines that are attainable, and give yourself time to relax while writing. Make a schedule that does not put you under pressure. You can work with a daily timestamp. For example, dedicate 30 minutes to an hour daily to completing your first draft. To achieve the best result, do this in the most productive time of your day.

Most of the works you appreciate now all began with an outline and a rough draft. Allow yourself to explore stories and ideas without the pressure of getting it right with your first draft.

Now that you know how to write your first draft, what are you waiting for? It’s time to write.

Good luck!

How to Use Persuasive Writing

Persuasive writing is powerful enough to influence your reader’s belief or sway their interest to your point of view. You don’t have to be a writer or copywriter to know how to use the persuasive writing style. Do you want your reader (customers) to take action sooner than they ordinarily would? Then take your time to digest this article as we proceed.

Persuasive writing goes beyond putting an idea on paper. To write persuasively, you need to carry out thorough research on the idea. You need to pick appealing words and relevant keywords to create well-structured sentences that present your idea strongly. This writing style can be used in articles, songs, speeches, thought pieces and other marketing methods to get your readers to buy a product or use a service. Also, it will help you present facts in a way that clearly communicates your argument.

Here are a few ways you can make your writing more persuasive.

1. Know your audience:

You have to know your target audience before deciding how best to approach them. What do they find interesting? What are their pain points? What solutions do they need? You can use trending phrases or expressions to pass your message or idea. For example, a Nigerian publishing company can switch between a formal persuasive style and an informal one, using trending phrases like ‘Soro soke’ and ‘E choke’ to grab the reader’s attention and sell their point of view. However, if you are promoting a business book internationally, you would need to be more formal than informal.

2. Repeat yourself but be strategic about it:

Strategically repeating yourself is an effective way to persuade your readers. Do this by presenting your idea in different ways, with synonymous words and relatable examples.

3. Ask your readers questions:

You can be persuasive in your writing when you ask your readers questions. Your aim is to subtly force them to answer critical personal questions because it gives them clarity as to why they should swing your way.

4. Research every side of your argument:

To persuade your readers to follow you, you must give facts that show how your idea, product, or service is better than others. Presenting these facts in declarative statements will rightly express your idea and hook your reader’s attention.

In the marketing space, persuasive writing is crucial, but how can you effectively persuade your customers to choose you if you don’t have facts that you can leverage? For example, most paints grow mould after a short time due to inadequate bacterial shield. A paint production company can include the name or quantity of bacterial shield their paint embodies in their marketing copy.

The use of persuasive writing will convince your readers and win them over. So, learn the art to improve your writing ability and make your writing more influential.

However, if you don’t have the time to master this art, we have a team of professionals that understands the techniques in persuasive writing and can get your readers to follow your point of view within a short period.

Understanding Point Of View In Writing

Point of View in writing tells the reader who is narrating the story. The writer’s decision helps to determine the angle to write from. Establishing your credibility and gaining the readers’ trust is crucial to every writer; that is why understanding Point Of View (POV) is necessary.

Selecting the appropriate POV is important because it will help you tell your story accurately and make your readers understand the characters better. Imagine reading a self-help book that does not directly address you as a reader! That defeats the point of the book because its message will not feel personal to you.

Despite establishing the value POV gives to writing, you will still find yourself pondering the question: how do I know the relevant one to use in narrating my story? The answer lies in knowing the types of POV.

  1. First Person: When narrating a story from the first-person perspective, the writer is writing as the main character. The narrator is involved, as he/she is telling their experience. This POV frequently used in fiction writing uses the personal pronouns I, me, we, and us for the main character. This technique builds intrigue, expresses an opinion and gives the story credibility. The character does not necessarily have to be a protagonist; they could also be an antagonist. Truly, it is one of the easiest points of view, but it is limited because it is character-driven. It focuses on the actor, not the action. 
  2. Second Person: Second person POV is a rarely used narrative technique because it draws the readers into the story. It is more personal for the readers as they feel the narrator talking to them. As such, a writer is not narrating from his/her perspective. Pronouns ‘you’ and ‘your’ describe the main character. While it is not a common style in fiction writing, it is rampant in non-fiction such as self-help books. One advantage of this point of view is that it provides the readers with an opportunity to reflect. Nonetheless, it is limited to the readers’ imagination. The readers can only travel as far as their minds can. 
  3. Third Person: The third-person narrative completely detaches the narrator from the story. He is neither telling ‘his’ nor ‘a’ story but ‘their’ story, and the central character is not the narrator. Pronouns: he/she, his/hers, they/theirs are used to describe the main characters. The third-person POV is of three types: third-person limited, third-person omniscient, and third-person objective. In the third-person limited, access is restricted to the characters’ thoughts and experiences, while omniscient grants the narrator unlimited access. The third-person objective tells the story from an observational standpoint. The narrator is not privy to the characters’ thoughts and feelings.

There is no best point of view because they are unique. Nevertheless, if you want your characters’ voice to shine through, consider using the First Person Point of View, but if you want your voice to shine through, use the Second or Third Person Point of View. Whatever narrative style you decide on, endeavour to be consistent with it. 

Four Ways To Use Passive Voice Appropriately In Writing

The use of passive voice is often critiqued as bad writing style, which is incorrect. Though, it should be used sparingly, it shouldn’t be eliminated totally because sometimes it is essential in emphasizing details.

Passive voice is used when the subject of a sentence is the recipient of a verb. Most times, the receiver is of little or no importance to the sentence, so, why should it overshadow the subject acting? Well, this skepticism is true because the inappropriate use makes your writing vague and boring, by emphasizing things of less importance.

Notwithstanding, a passive voice can function better than an active voice in some sentences, when used the right way. Here are some ways to use the passive voice aptly.

  1. To report crimes with an alleged or unknown culprit: In some criminal cases, the perpetrator of the crime is unknown; therefore the focus should not be on an unknown person, but on whom or what was affected (the recipient of the action). 

For instance;

My neighbor was murdered last night. 

The subject (neighbor) is the receiver of the action, and the emphasis is on it. 

  • For scientific situations: When performing a scientific experiment the emphasis is not placed on the scientist experimenting, but on what the experiment entails. So, the subject matter is the things or person receiving the action.

For instance;

The Laboratory rat was used to test the efficiency of the drug. (Passive)

The scientist used the Laboratory rat to test the efficiency of the drug. (Active)

In the two sentences, how relevant is the scientist in the active sentence construction above? The use of passive voice effectively passes the message and draws attention to what is important; the Laboratory rat.

  • To emphasize the action, not the doer: In a situation where the “action” is more relevant than the initiator, a passive voice can be used.

For instance:

She was sworn in yesterday as the Director of, The World Trade Organization.

Who was performing the swearing-in was irrelevant because the emphasis is on the action, and the message is fully understood. 

  • To shift the blame on nobody: You might be wondering how this is possible, well, it is. As a writer, you can use passive voice to exonerate. You can make a character get away with a crime by detaching him from the incident or action. 

For instance;

The crime was committed yesterday.

The question posed here is; who committed the crime? Or who was involved? This statement can’t be traced to a particular person or thing. It could be who you are thinking or not. You create suspense and leave your readers to ponder.

You can easily identify a passive sentence with the presence of “to be verbs”. They include verb forms like was, were, are, etc. You can seldom write without using these verbs, howbeit, it should be used daintily or as stated in the above exceptions. To avoid errors in your writing, it is important to thoroughly proofread your work and remove any misuse of the passive voice, but if you can’t go through that process, we have a team of professional editors who can help. Contact us today at Sabi Writers.