- colorful and original descriptions
- pithy words and phrases
- picture nouns and action verbs
- writing that draws a reader in and addicts them to your voice
I keep a collection of descriptions that have pulled me into the books. I’m fascinated how authors can–in just a few words–put me in the middle of their story and make me want to stay there. This one’s on how to describe law enforcement.
A note: These are for inspiration only. They can’t be copied because they’ve been pulled directly from an author’s copyrighted manuscript (intellectual property is immediately copyrighted when published).
- Lock picking gun
- Specially-designed lumbar pack
- Compact submachine gun
- R*** had extremely acute situational awareness
- Sheriff, Undersheriff, Captain, Lieutenant, section leaders, unit heads
- How do people move, how do they interact? Do they wait for Walk lights, or do they jaywalk? Do they meet one another’s eyes on the sidewalks or exchange pleasantries? How many cop cars do you see? Check for parking. Is it metered or free? Nail down the BART entrances.
- Very first lesson of Secret Service training… to look for the person who wasn’t acting like the other members of the crowd. Find the person who was fidgety, or sweaty, or who was patting his own chest, a well-recognized tip-off that he was carrying a weapon.
- a few minutes later he was struck by another anomaly. It was looking back at him from an evidence photograph of the brass casings. The casings had been tossed into the same locking toolbox where the gun and money had been found. There were four of them. They were heavily smeared with blood. He pictured the scene, the order of shooting, the distances to the targets. He pictured E collecting his casings. And it made no sense that the brass would be heavily smeared.
- Fired a revolver in a PPC competition
- Get off six rounds, shuck the empties, smack home the speed loader, squeeze off six more and hit nothing but black at fifty feet without ever looking at anything but his target
- Keep the gun at eye level during the reload
- Six magazine with the Mustang, then fifth rounds from a Smith AirLite .22 that was small and light enough to slip into a pocket
- …got off the elevator, the entire space was jammed full of uniforms, big blocky men and solid, capable-looking women
Click for the complete list of 69 writer’s themed descriptions.
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Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her book at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.