Descriptive Writing Techniques










    a comparison of two unlike things…_________is a  __________(not using like or as)


    -the moon made his face into a silver mask

    -but I was a shadow as we walked home




    a comparison of two unlike objects, using the words like or as


    -The trees stood still as giant statues

    -the train whistle blew, long and low, like a sad, sad song

    -It was quiet as a dream

    -I could feel the cold as if someone’s icy hand was palm-down on my back

    -the snow below  was as white as milk in a cereal bowl


    giving human characteristics to nonhuman things

    -my short, round shadow bumped after me

    -the shadow hooted again

    -the kind of hope that flies on silent wings 

    -little gray footprints followed us


    a word that imitates the sound it represents

    -crunched, crackled, buzzed


    using sensory details to create a picture in the reader’s mind

    -I could hear it through the wool cap that pa had pulled down over my ears

    -our feet crunched over the crisp snow

    -my shadow was short and round

    -we reached the line of pine trees, black and pointy

    -my nose and the tops of my cheeks felt cold and hot at the same time

    vivid verbs

    extraordinary, action verbs

    Pumped, threading, crunched, bumped


    feeling and emotion within a piece of writing

    -I had been waiting to go owling with Pa for a long, long time

    -Pa shrugged. I shrugged. I was not disappointed.

    -When you go owling you have to be brave


    - a big exaggeration

    -for maybe even one hundred minutes we stared at each other.

      Examples from Owl Moon by Jane Yolen