forum How do I describe Interiors without it sounding boring?
Started by @Writingwriter_01

people_alt 62 followers


Whenever I attempt to describe the area, (Usually interiors), I find that the writing always feels choppy and doesn't flow how I want it to. It also feels like I'm just reading off a list. How do I describe interiors without feeling like I'm reading today's grocery list?

@FanfictionFanatic-The-Elder group

It really depends on the story and the characters. Mostly I try to just mention things that are important to the characters, things that catch their attention for one reason or another… Though I admit I have gone through more than a few drafts where I have this same problem. I usually give up and make a bland “grocery list” description for myself for reference that way I can cross reference between that and whatever I'm writing.


The previous commenter had great advice that I'd echo. There's no rule on how you should describe surroundings and you should tailor what/how you describe things to your story. Sometimes you don't have to describe the surroundings at all. And I love that grocery list idea of all your settings that you keep to yourself and pull out when necessary, I'm definitely gonna use that now.

One thing I'd add is to try to only describe surroundings when necessary. How you define necessary is up to you and your story, but you really shouldn't feel obligated to describe anything. In my opinion, when it comes to basically writing anything, fiction and non-fiction alike, less is always more, especially if you covered all the necessary details and no more than that.

On a practical note that's easier to define than just saying "figure out what's necessary and do that," try to keep adjectives and adverbs to a minimum and instead select exact and vivid nouns and verbs. Adjectives and adverbs can often have this way of making anything sound clunkier and less precise than it could be. For example, instead of saying "very detailed" you say "intricate." Instead of saying "dark red" you say "crimson." Stuff like that.

If you already were implementing these things and still feel like your descriptions are choppy, maybe offer up a sample for us to see? It could be that there are just really subtle tweaks that need to be made. It may also be that your descriptions are better than you think!

Mt. G router

One trick I like to use is to entwine sensory details and metaphors so you imply and "show" the room, rather than describe it.

Instead of saying the walls are painted a certain color, describe the way the hue affects the mood of the room. For example, "The walls were painted a soft, buttery yellow that enveloped the space in a warm, inviting glow."

Use metaphors and similes to add more depth to your description. For example, "The floorboards creaked like an old man's bones as I walked across the room." Or, "The ceiling was so high it felt like I was standing beneath the open sky."

Think about the textures and patterns in the space and use descriptive words to bring those elements to life. For example, instead of "The rug was a red, blue, and green Persian rug with geometric patterns", try "The rug was a rich tapestry of reds, blues and greens that felt soft and plush under my feet."

Don't be afraid to use descriptive adjectives, but choose them wisely. Instead of simply saying the curtains are long, describe the way they look and feel. For example, "The floor-to-ceiling curtains were a rich emerald green, velvety and lush."

Consider the light and shadows in the space and how they can be used to create atmosphere. For example, "The light from the stained glass window spilled into the empty room like a waterfall of color."

The key is to think about the details that make the interior unique and memorable, and to use descriptive language to bring those elements to life for the reader. Good luck!