When you have written your story, your readers will have to imagine it in their minds. To make their picture as clear as possible it helps to give as much detail as you can. Colours, smells, textures – all these help to make writing come alive. These details can also give a whole lot of information about your characters and story.

For example: He drove off in his car
Could change to: He drove off in his rusty old white bakkie.
OR: He drove off in his black BMW.

Just describing the car gives us a picture of the scene – and of what kind of person he is.

So notice and describe those small details. Try not to use the words ‘nice’ and ‘beautiful’ too much, as they don’t paint pictures in our head.

Here are two similar descriptions. Notice how much more effective the second one is just by giving us those vital details:

Example one:
My granny made nice roast chicken for supper. It was delicious. We also had mashed potato and peas from the garden. It is my favourite meal.

Example two:
My granny made succulent roast chicken for supper, with crispy skin. We also had soft buttery mashed potato, and fresh green peas from the garden. Mmm, move over KFC!