Embedded Description to Improve Narrative Flow

As I rework my manuscript, I find myself continually trying to rework or add embedded description within my paragraphs to help improve the narrative flow for the reader. Embedded description refers to the details a writer adds about the setting or characters that falls in between a dialogue or action taking place in the story. This was one of the many lessons I learned during critiquing on Wattpad.

A very simple example would be; “She squinted through her pink glasses and pushed them farther up on to her nose with her index finger.” Or “She walked over to her bed, grabbed her silk red dress and pulled it softly over her slim frame.” Basic stuff.

However, when drafting a story, my main concern is getting the story out rather than focusing too much on what’s going on around my character. As I read back and edit, I am able to find all the instances where world building and character building can be improved. Simply adding description during the actions, while trying to touch upon all five senses, I can build a better picture of the story for the reader.

It’s also best to try to avoid clumping all your description into one or two paragraphs. Spread the description throughout the chapter to keep the action and narrative flowing. Readers like background information and descriptions, but don’t want to get bogged down by it all at once. It’s easiest if you describe what your characters are most likely to notice around them and use strong, concert verbs while describing action and limit the use of adjectives.

Remember to not let excessive description get in the way of drafting your story. Don’t think about it too much unless it comes natural to you, there will always be time to add description in later without interrupting your writing process.

I have several stories I need to rework, though my first priority is Valterra. It’s been reread and edited several times, but some of my chapters are still very short and could use a bit more building.  I’d also really like to give Jonas and the Mermaid Curse a good facelift. It hasn’t been re-worked at all and still sits as a first untouched draft. Much work to be done there. One day, one sentence at a time.


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