Descriptive or “Showing” Language
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Descriptive or “Showing” Language

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Descriptive or “Showing” Language

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Descriptive or “Showing” Language

Painting an Original Picture with words


Purpose of Descriptive Writing

Describe something in an original and unique so that it appeals to the five senses

Touch it

Taste it

Hear it

See it

Smell it


Keys of Being Descriptive

Be originalBe creativeStretch your imaginationFor example, instead of this:

The hot, yellow sun went behind the mountain and covered the valley in red.

The sun cut itself on a sharp peak and bled into the valley.—John Steinbeck

Try this:


How’s This?

She was super hero beautiful. Her hair was as black as coal, her lips red as blood.

Is this original and creative?


Clichés: The Descriptive Killer

1 : a trite phrase or expression; Also : the idea expressed by it2 : something (as a menu item) that has become overly familiar or commonplace


Finding Clichés Through Experience

If you have seen it

Or heard it

It’s probably a cliché


Finding Clichés Through Others

Ask someone really old

(You know, anyone over 21)


Finding Clichés On-line

Choose a keyword to look up

Go to a cliché website and look up the keyword

Cliché finder is one of the best places to



You may have to try more than one keyword


Fixing Clichés

Identify the clichésReplace them with more descriptive writingThink of a new comparisonLook up words in a


A Little Practice

Each of you will be given a poem Identify ALL the clichésReplace five of them (you can choose the easiest ones if you’d like)Don’t worry about making it rhymeWe’ll do the first stanza together


Which of the following do think are clichés?

She’s as pure as the driven snow,

Her face is as white as a sheet,

Her hands are as smooth as silk,

Her nails as red as a beet.

She’s as

pure as the driven snow,

Her face is as white as a sheet,

Her hands are as smooth as silk,

Her nails as red as a beet.


Same Old New Girl

She’s as pure as the driven snow,

Her face is as white as a sheet,Her hands are as smooth as silk,Her nails as red as a beet.Her hair is like the golden sun,Her eyes blue like the sky,She’s as beautiful as an angel,and as hot as a firecracker on the 4th of July.Her temper is as quick as lightning,Her hatred cold as ice,Her laughter is loud and clear,But her crying is as quiet as mice.

Her beauty may be skin deep,

But her mind is as sharp as a knife.

I’m just small potatoes,

And she seems larger than life

They say she’s one in a million,

But I don’t believe what they say.

If she’s all that and a bag of chips,

Why say it with a cliché?