Ready to start your search for the perfect words?
Here are 33 instances where you can opt for descriptive language that reveals your point of view, rather than an obvious choice that doesn’t enhance your writing voice.
It’s not always appropriate to get super detailed, but don’t settle for generic phrases because you’re afraid of excluding people who don’t have the same taste.
The more intimately you get to know each word in your writing, the more confident you can be that your content will make an imprint in your reader’s mind.
You’re hooking your ideal reader on your writing, so they become a part of your audience.
For each descriptive language category below, review how the different examples alter a reader’s experience with your text.
Pour over, sparkling espresso, or cold brew?
Earl grey with cream and sugar, yerba maté, or chamomile?
IPA, gin and tonic, or Jack Daniel’s?
San Pellegrino, flat, or Bubly?
Black ballpoint, red felt tip, or mechanical pencil?
Cypress, palm, or sycamore?
Cherry blossom, rose, or daisy?
A-frame cabin, condo, or mansion?
Maine Coon, Pomeranian, or American Pit Bull Terrier?
Desk, bean bag, or bar stool?
Kettlebell, yoga mat, or Peloton?
Mason jar, Champagne flute, or martini glass?
Plastic, paper, or ceramic?
Frosted Flakes, Cheerios, or MUSH Overnight Oats?
Plain Greek, low-fat blueberry, or vanilla soy?
Wagyu beef sliders, patty melt, or Beyond burger?
Warhol, Renaissance, or sacred geometry?
Tealight, taper, or pillar?
Suit, sweats, or shawl?
Drugstore, Sephora, or Yves Saint Laurent?
Antique, vintage, or artisan?
Chanel, Bath & Body Works, or patchouli?
Stainless steel, plastic, or frameless?
Cloth, N95, or bandana neck gaiter?
Casablanca, Psycho, or Fight Club?
Cobra Kai, I Love Lucy, or Battlestar Galactica?
The Beatles, Joy Division, or Public Enemy?
Desktop, laptop, or tablet?
Android, iPhone, or Nokia flip phone?
Ceiling, tower, or bladeless?
Digital, lined notebook, or copy paper?
Taupe walls and windowless cubicles, high ceilings and an open floor plan, or a makeshift workspace on a dining room table?
Alexa, Google, or Siri?
“Easy reading is damn hard writing …”
The subheadline above is often attributed to Nathaniel Hawthorne, but since we can’t always verify the accuracy of a quote or source, I’d like to share the lesser-known second half of that sentence. 😉
“Easy reading is damn hard writing … so you’re subscribed to Copyblogger, right?”
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