Being More Specific

Being More Specific

The key is perception and observation.Many people see or experience the same thing, but describe it differently.
For example, what did you see when you walked into the classroom this morning?

a classroom filled with students

loose tiles

long thick curtains

formica -topped desks

silent TV set

hum of the air conditioner

talkative students

(very GENERAL)

(SPECIFIC things)

Incorporate these things into your writing. (You don’t have to use them all.)
As Jill trudged into the classroom this morning, panting after her long climb up the 35 step staircase, she sensed a feeling of excitement in the air. The eager students were chatting noisily above the steady hum of the air conditioner. One young man had drawn back the thick curtains and was watching the activity in the street below. Another was taking aim at the unsuspecting student’s right ear with a paper airplane. The teacher was nowhere in sight.

Don’t ignore details, capture them.

Remember the five senses:

(external observations)











SHOW the reader, don’t just tell him/her.

SPECIFIC is terrific.


1. He walked into the room.

tiptoed , stomped, sauntered, crept, rushed, waltzed

2. The girls talked.

chatted noisily, whispered, conversed, shouted


Pay attention to specific parts rather than overuse adjectives.

1. The young woman was beautiful.

Her eyes sparkled in the moonlight.

Her hair . . .

2. The watch indicated the time.

The second hand ticked away slowly as the electronic buzzer announced one o’clock .