Description is one of the fundamental elements in storytelling and has multiple functions. We use it to ground and set a story in place and time, build character, mood, tension and suspense, shift pace, add plausibility, provide metaphors and deepen thematic exploration. In any story there is also a balance that should be sought, between action, reflection and description. Too little description and the story remains floating, ungrounded. Too much description and the story threads become lost.
Through a combination of discussion, readings and exercises, this workshop asks a range of questions in order to deepen our understanding of description. What more is this scene trying to tell us? How might it act as metaphor, as an expression of a universal truth, a human emotion, a philosophical idea? In answering these questions it becomes possible to layer and deepen our stories and their themes, at the same time creating a convincing setting that transports the reader into the world of the story, enabling them to suspend disbelief until the end.
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