Word Painting: A Guide to Writing More Descriptively

by Rebecca McClanahan

Paperback, 2000




Writer's Digest Books (2000), Edition: New edition, 256 pages


Let Rebecca McClanahan guide you through an inspiring examination of description in its many forms. With her thoughtful instruction and engaging exercises, you'll learn to develop your senses and powers of observation to uncover the rich, evocative words that accurately portray your mind's images. McClanahan includes dozens of descriptive passages written by master poets and authors to illuminate the process. She also teaches you how to weave writing together using description as a unifying thread.

User reviews

LibraryThing member McGrewc
More for the literary than the genre writer but thought provoking nonetheless.
LibraryThing member brebirch
This book is a must read for any writer wanting to take their craft to the next level.
LibraryThing member ForeverMasterless
A decent book with a lot of good advice, but man can it be long-winded at times. It starts to drag about halfway through and entirely loses focus by the end, delving into territory that's covered much better, and in greater detail, by other books.

Honestly, if this book were half as long it would've been twice as good, because the beginning is actually pretty great. I loved the section on metaphor, simile, and other figures of speech, for instance, but the absolute best thing I took away from this book is "the proper and special name of a thing" which is something McClanahan stole from Aristotle, though I do not begrudge her for it because she lays it out so perfectly and so clearly (and also because she flat-out admits that fact right away). It is the relatively simple and, one might think, obvious idea that naming something, properly, does more to implant the image of that thing in the reader's mind than a paragraph of description would.
That concept, and phrase, which is almost like a mantra, just clicked with me in a way that so few things do, and I will never, ever forget it.
… (more)


Original language



Page: 0.4448 seconds