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Just Persona 5 things

Writing (III): Description & Dialogue

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So I have time. And I have an idea. Or maybe I have an idea and then time.

What comes next is the actual writing. Which is easy when it comes to description.

For description I follow a simple question: Is it necessary?

Say I am describing someone running. If the idea I am trying to give is that he is being chased, I will describe the ragged breathing, the effort that the character is making to keep moving, whatever he is fleeing from, etc. If the idea is that he is trying to arrive to a place, I will describe the speed he is going, the amount of distance remaining, what the goal is, etc. If it is just an action I will just simply write 's/he ran fast.'

Adding more to a simple description, ruins it. Subtracting from a tense moment, ruins it. There are times when that is broken but that is more of an exception.

After that, I take the character in consideration. Would s/he look at everything in detail? Would s/he just glance to everything on the room? Once that is answered I style the description. Someone like Archer would look at everything in the room, investigating the whole place, see what could be useful, what wouldn't. Someone like Shirou would just see the simplest thing unless he was being chased by a bitch tsundere mage.

And then comes my greatest enemy. Dialogue.

See, most people would place what the character would say. Which is what you should do. Others would place a bit of OOC here and there. Which is acceptable, as sometimes we write stuff just to relax.

Me? I have to get the dialogue just perfect. I have to get inside the character and when I write the line, their "voice" should come to me when I read it. Not the actual voice, mind you. I just have to imagine that the character would say that in that moment, at that time, on those circumstances.

I am overly harsh with dialogue because I am that perfectionist. Or idiotic. Whatever you prefer.

That being said, when I get in the character's head, writing goes so fast that I can write like a madman. Not Five's 30k-on-a-weekend madman, but something more normalish.

This is usually why I take so much time with writing. Also games, but that's neither here nor there.
Tags: Writing


  1. Sei's Avatar

    How do you feel about descriptive differences between moments of peace and moments of tension? For example, being more descriptive of the surrounding when things are peaceful as opposed to a more rushed description when under pressure? Do you feel that the extra detail in peace adds something to the story? Or do you still think something like that is unnecessary?
  2. Laith's Avatar
    Like I said depends on the character. However if it is in a neutral perspective, since it is peaceful, you do have time to admire the scenery, so to say. That is to say, a comment about the beautiful state of the morning where nothing could go wrong, not describing the morning itself. It is a necessary thing, true, but it is mostly implied since we as readers we just need to know what the character thinks about it or the state of the place but not at detail. Much detail bores most readers when its unnecessary, after all.
  3. Sei's Avatar
    I agree. But there are times where I personally feel something should be described more or better. Though, I guess it's just a matter of balances really.
  4. Laith's Avatar
    Yeah when there is no dialogue for example. Description all the way.