How to Make Your Descriptive Writing More Interesting

Descriptive writing is, crudely defined, writing that describes something. It can be a particular topic, an object, a person and place, and pretty much anything else that can be “described.”

Such writing is required in a lot of different situations and places. For example, if you are writing about a particular service or product, your writing would be descriptive. And the quality of that descriptive writing would define the mark your content would make.

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While this is just one example, there’re a lot of other similar scenarios that require descriptive writing. And considering the importance and preponderance of such writing, it’s necessary to constantly work on improving it and making it more interesting.

That is what we’ll be exploring in this post.

1.      Learn to Write in Active Voice

One of the main mistakes that many writers can make when describing something is to use passive voice. In short, passive voice is said to exist when the object is focused on rather than the subject, with the latter being relegated to secondary emphasis. On the other hand, active voice is said to exist when the subject is focused on.

Writing in active voice can make your content more impactful. It is more direct, and it can convey the meaning of the sentence(s) a lot better than passive voice.

Take the following example.

“The cake was being devoured by the person.”


“The person was devouring the cake.”

In the second sentence, you can see it’s a lot easier to understand the meaning. In the first sentence, however, the words are needlessly long, and they are not that easy to comprehend.

If you consistently use active voice, your descriptive writing will be a lot more interesting.

The example we gave above was a bit short since it consisted of a single sentence. Here are some bigger passages to show you the effect of using active voice in your descriptive. writing

“Russia created the Tsar Bomba. It was a bomb that dwarfed the nukes that the US used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. While Fat Man, the Nagasaki bomb, had a yield of 21,000 tons of TNT, the Tsar Bomba released a whopping 58,000,000 tons of TNT.” (Active voice dominant)


“The Tsar Bomba was created by Russia. The bombs used by the US on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were dwarfed by it. 21,000 tons of TNT was yielded by Fat Man, the bomb dropped on Nagasaki, whereas 58,000,000 tons of TNT was released by Tsar Bomba.” (Passive voice dominant)

Needless to say, the second one is an utter atrocity.

2.      Learn and Learn to Use Descriptive Words

If you want to make your descriptive writing more interesting, you need to learn descriptive words. And on top of learning those new words, you have to learn how to utilize them properly.

To give you the concept of what descriptive words mean, consider the following example:

I think the sentence is long-winded and needlessly convoluted

I think the sentence is sesquipedalian


Although difficult, the word “sesquipedalian” describes the phrase “long-winded and needlessly convoluted” much better.

Since descriptive writing has to describe something, the words need to be likewise descriptive. If you’re describing, say, a scene at sunrise, you can’t say:

I was sitting at the edge of the rock, watching the large body of water with the celestial body of heat and light rising above the sky.

Rather, you’ll have to add some embellishments like:

I was sitting on the cliff, watching the sea with the sun rising above the horizon.

Although the first sentence does technically convey the meaning, it leaves a lot to be desired.

So, how can you learn these types of descriptive words?

  1. Use a thesaurus. This is probably the simplest and most straightforward method that you can use for learning new words. Just look at some of the common words that you use and look for similar synonyms that you can use in lieu.
  2. Take online vocab-building exercises. There are many online exercises that you can do to learn words. These exercises typically take the form of quizzes, where the user has to select the right synonyms for the provided words. The benefit of using this method to learn words is that you can automatically associate new words with their synonyms.
  3. Use an online paraphrasing tool. Paraphrasing tools are typically used to, as the name says, paraphrase content. However, using them is also a good way to improve your vocabulary. You can basically enter your content into the tool and have it (the tool) change the text using different words and phrases. You can then make a note of the changed words and find out their meanings.

For the last one, i.e., using online paraphrasing tools, you have to take care of picking a smart and intelligent one for the job. If you pick just any random one from the internet without testing it first, you could end up damaging your existing vocab rather than building it. That would be because such a tool would unreliably use the wrong words to substitute the existing ones.

3.      Give Examples Where You Can

Giving examples can help to make your descriptive writing a lot clearer and more interesting. When you describe something using an example, you add clarity to it. You help to etch the image of that thing vividly in the mind of your readers.

Take the following example:

The walls shook, and the windows rattled against the buffeting winds. Much like the trembling in the wake of an earthquake, the typhoon rocked the tiny island of Guam.

In this passage, the exemplification of the trembling caused by an earthquake helps the reader to picture what is happening to the walls and windows in the strong winds of the typhoon.

Obviously, when we talk about giving examples, we don’t mean that you should give paragraph-long ones after every other minute. Rather, you should slide them in naturally where they look suitable.

Final Thoughts

If you want to make your descriptive writing interesting, you just have to…make it more descriptive. That is what our tips above encapsulated.

When you use descriptive words, you automatically make your writing more interesting. Similarly, when you use active voice to make your sentences more direct, it has the same effect.

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