I Like Description

In the English language there is one very specific word that says exactly what you mean.

The question is whether you know it.

-Maxim of Wyatt Fairlead


I am the sort of person who has a very active imagination.  Not in the sense that many use the term, where you think up strange things, or you start to imagine that you are seeing things that you aren’t or whatever; but in the sense that when I hear a description or I am reading about a particular scene in a book, my mind automatically pictures the events unfolding.  (Very similar to what it is like when you are remembering specific scenes from a movie, only my mind is creating it.)  I don’t think that is a particularly unusual thing to have happen to people; it is just particularly vivid in my mind.  That being the case, I always enjoy well done description in books.  Description that is well done makes it easy for you to see what the author wants you to see but leaves a little “wiggle room”, so to speak, for your imagination as well.

Perhaps another reason why I like description so much is that it allows the author to create an object, person, or environment with out the actual struggle of doing it.  That sounds somewhat nonsensical at first, but allow me to explain.  For the vast majority of my life I have been trying and failing to create the exact representation of what I am picturing in my head.  My imagination would come up with intricate medieval weapons, or monstrous citadels.  Probably the most common was an 18th century frigate under full sail crashing through the top of a wave with sea spray creating rainbows in the sunset sky.  (Believe me; that one never came close to happening.)  The problem is, I can’t do it.  I don’t have the skill to create in the physical world what is in my head, be it in drawing, building, or any other medium I try.  What description allows me and anyone else to do is create exactly what is in the imagination in someone else’s head.  Description isn’t the same as the physical reality, but it is the next best thing, and it enables us to create something that we wouldn’t ordinarily be able to.  There is something about good description that sparks the imagination and I love it when that happens.

Wyatt Fairlead


4 comments on “I Like Description

  1. Cari says:

    Are we allowed to quote you?? 😀 I totally like that maxim! Unfortunately, we don’t use nearly as many words as they did when Shakespeare lived, so we have to search when we are trying to be really specific. Back then, they actually utilized all the words in the English language, whereas now we use hardly any of them. (And people use non-words like lol instead. 🙂

    p.s. I found your blog through Rachel Heffington.

    • If you really think that it is worth quoting, feel free. I agree with you as to society not using as many words as they used to. I have acquired a reasonable vocabulary from my mother, and am always astounded when people aren’t as interested in words as me. (personal quirk) I’ll have to tell Rachel thank you. Hope you don’t find my content to erratic and strange. 😉

      • Cari says:

        Thank you for letting me quote you! In my case, it’s my dad who uses huge words. Sometimes I look up a word just to understand what he’s saying. 😛 Though some words I would think people should know… like decorum. I once used ‘decorum’ and the person didn’t know what that meant. :/

  2. haha! Great maxim! Very you-ish.

    It is indeed a true statement.

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