All posts tagged: rebecca macClanahan

How to Write Crisp, Evocative Descriptions: Key Ingredients (2)

Description begins in the beholder’s eye, and it requires attention. If we look closely long enough and stay in the moment long enough, we may be granted new eyes. —Rebecca McClanahan In Chapter Two of Word Painting, McClanahan says that good description begins with observation. When we focus on something or someone long enough, we begin to notice things that we would have missed if we didn’t give our full attention. Singer and songwriter Paul Stookey said, “Sometimes, if you sit in one place long enough, you get used. You become the instrument for what it is that wants to be said.” ¬†McClanahan advices writers to keep on looking, to put the writer’s eye to use as often as possible and long enough so that we will be able to see forms emerge and patterns reconfigure themselves. Says McClanahan: “Most of us simply don’t stay in one place long enough to be used.” She also pointed out that the advice a comet-hunter gave to novice comet-hunters during a radio interview could also work well for …