I think back to when I taught the good ole’ Personal Narrative. I wonder how many of them I’ve read. Probably over 500. The skill of describing is so important regardless of the career. Looking back, I wish I would have spent even more time on the unit.
Every day we take in sensory imagery. Actually, too much most days. Movies, TV, and music alone can create a rich experience simply because the sensory images are stimulated. Think back to your favorite movie. Every time I was Seabiscuit I get emotional. I know, I know. He’s just a horse, but the production team does such a good job stimulating sensory imagery that I become caught up in the moment.
Description will attend to sensory imagery, but also time, person, or place. We use descriptive transition words to let us know it’s time to move to the next part. Here are some transition words to signal visual description:
All of these things will give us a mental picture of the person, event, place, object, scene, or situation. Study photographs and movie scenes. Ask yourself what you see that’s triggering thoughts and feelings. Much of the time those details are included to trigger perceptions.
You all will use descriptive writing in some way. Depending on your career, you’ll be able to use it more creatively. For example, someone going into sales will enjoy a great deal of freedom with descriptive writing as they’ll be creating persuasive messages. Rhetoric will be your friend. Others will be heading into health care or public safety where accurate description is a must, but creative writing is taboo. You have to describe a scene of an accident or the behavior of a patient, but your ethical practice will tell you to stick to the facts.
The writer has the ability to spin the facts however they want to. Honestly, it’s hard to find a media source that’s unbiased. Even in our local media we‘ll see angles. On event that comes to mind is the Tumbledown Golf Course 9/11 special.