This section on narrative and descriptive writing - and the next one on how to write dialogue - are all about using words to a professional standard.
"In my view, stories and novels consist of three parts: narration, which moves the story from point A to point B and finally to point Z; description, which creates a sensory reality for the reader; and dialogue, which brings characters to life through their speech."
- Stephen King
All of the work up to now has been about planning and structuring your novel. From here on in, it is all about taking your plan and translating it into beautiful language.
Partly, this language will take the form of dialogue. The next section is devoted to making the conversations in your novel as perfect as possible.
Mostly, though, the language will take the form of prose. Prose can be divided into two elements...
Every writer of fiction has a unique voice - and yes, that includes you. (Although it has to be said that it will probably take you time to develop it.) The fatal mistake a lot of beginners make is to do the literary equivalent of putting on a "telephone voice." Don't fall into this trap.
This article offers an overview of the 6 types of writing to be found in every novel.
Most of the prose you ever write will be narrative writing - that is, writing that tells the story. This article cautions you against, drowning this type of writing in too much fancy description.
I have talked in many places at Novel Writing Help about the "classic" mistakes of beginners, but overwritten, flowery prose (or purple prose) is probably the number one howler.
This one deals with the "nuts and bolts" of how to write well. Get these eight things wrong and your narration and description will simply sound amateurish.
This is probably one of the most important articles on the entire site. Without the ability to bring your writing to life with powerful details, your fiction will always remain - well, kind of on the dull side.
There are two important things to remember here. First, your writing must be sensual - because you will fail to engage the reader if it isn't. Second, you need to evoke all of the senses in your writing - because if all of your descriptions are merely visual, your writing will lack dimension.
Writing like a poet basically means using figures of speech, the two most important of which are similes and metaphors.
But it isn't enough merely to use the odd simile and metaphor in your descriptions - you need to use them well. This article shows you how.
And this article covers plenty of other figures of speech you might want to use, such as alliteration, cadence, and onomatopoeia.
Here are the questions readers have sent me in the Fiction Writing Q & A section related to descriptive and narrative writing...