A small piece of description

A little while ago I commented in r/fantasywriters about how reading works that are similar to the tone you want to have will influence your own writing.

For many of us, it is impossible to separate completely from the influences in our writing as we do our drafts. If you are self-aware, you can channel this and make your prose come out better. If it’s more subconscious, you may see the voice of your narrative shift over the course of your book, and revision might get a little interesting.

The following is a piece of description I wrote from the point of view of one of the side characters in Inkwoven about my protagonist. Both of the people mentioned have been desert folk for generations. I wrote this last summer during the same timeframe where I binge listened “The Wise Man’s Fear” during my workdays and read “The Fifth Season” on my breaks and when I woke up early on Saturdays:

“Her beauty was a quiet thing, pure, like the hush of falling snow by starlight. He’d had the opportunity to see snow only once, in lands far to the east when he and his father had gone up to a liegelord’s winter palace to collect the taxes. The walls had all been warded and warmed, but he had gone out into the night to see the strange phenomenon forever absent from the dry and blazing plains. He still remembered the cold, how it had crawled inside him through his shoes, stealing away the feeling in his toes and fingers, how his nose and cheeks had burned with it, how every breath had sent a tide of daggers through his throat and chest. And he had forced himself to stop shivering, clenched his teeth together, and made himself still as the sparse trees. And he had heard the faintest whisper as the flakes traced down, glittering gemdust in the light of swirling starfire. And hers was a mirror of that cold, quiet beauty that swirled and turned and danced and died. A beauty that had crawled inside him and stilled him and stolen away his breath. And he knew he would never have her.”

I would love to hear what some of you think in the comments, but the primary goal was to use a long metaphor and no real physical descriptions to say more about the observer than the observed with implicit characterization.

That’s All She Wrote! See you next time.