A Change Is As Good As A Rest….

Sixth June Blog

A Change is as Good as a Rest.

So, what will I write about today? I know, words that can be used in stories or poems, that are not so commonly used.

Someone on the Group I belong to posted a question about changing common words and finding a different way of saying the same thing, or close. Like, for instance, colours! Describing the general colour of a ginger cat. Many might use the term marmalade. Good enough, but how about Amber or Nasturtium or even just Orange!! ( there must be more!)

For purple, we could use the words Heliotrope, Grape, Aubergine, Puce, Dark Lavender.

For green there are a wealth of other words like Conifer, the ubiquitus Forest, Olive, Grass and so on.

Browns can be described as Earth, Sepia, Sienna, Umber, Tan, Chestnut, Coffee.

Blue is often thought of as Sky or Navy. But there are all kinds of blue like Periwinkle, Lobelia, Cornflower, Cerulean, Aqua Marine, Ultramarine, Indigo. And many more.

I am not covering all the colours here, because I think you get the picture by now. Be different with your writing.

What? I hear you say, colours!

One of my writing tutors imparted this wisdom. To give your reader a chance to be deeply involved in your charactors and settings, you should try to give the reader a way of getting involved. Colour in your descriptions is one way to immerse your audience.

Another way is to involve them in sound and smell. The tutor read a page from a particular book, about a family in London in the earlier part of the 20th century. This is not a quote but my idea of something similar.


‘”Chimneys smoked, filling the sky with acrid stenches. The milkman’s horse, in common with the shire belonging to the coal cart and the rag and bone merchant, leave their own debris, adding to the normal smells that had settled in the streets.
Down the road, the baker had had his oven going since 5 a.m., and the scent of freshly baked bread filled the air surrounding the little bakers shop.
The four lone streets of dwellings, cocooned on three sides by tall buildings, the gas works making up the fourth side, were sweltering in the morning sunshine. The air hung heavy over the two up, two down houses, like a sqidgy warm damp blanket. Soft leaves in such a bright spring pea green, waved gently in the fresh breeze which swirled around the tree tops, never coming down to ground level to freshen the atmosphere.
Mrs Abenathy, in her small front garden at number eight, trilled one of the popular songs of the day, trying to match the bird calls from the church rooftop and the steeple, only to be drowned out as the bell tolled eight a.m. All seemed right with this little world of drab living quarters which were cheap to rent, especially with a large family to house.
Most people living within these dwellings, knew everyone else. Old Mr. Tomkins lodged with Mr. and Mrs. Zublai who hailed from Eastern Europe but were now entrenched in the English way of life. Every Friday night you could hear the couple playing the accordion and tambor, their music as Russian as they come.
The melodies and rhythms set the neighbourhood dancing. Many brought their children out on the street to enjoy the free entertainment. This was such a gay place to live on a Friday night.'”


You may be able to come up with something different. It is up to you. Mine was just an ‘off the cuff’ piece to try and illustrate what I have been saying.

There are some writers of course, who seldom use much description. That is their prerogative. But personally, I would find a book of that kind quite boring. I love to be immersed in the sights and sounds conveyed by the writer. To me, it makes a book much more exciting and worthy of my time reading it, with such descriptive passages.

I cannot answer for everyone, or even most, but I think it would be a sad old writing world if description were ousted from all books. How say you?

Take care, my friends,



2 thoughts on “A Change Is As Good As A Rest….

  1. It’s always difficult to decide how much description is enough. I think the golden rule F description is that it should never be allowed to slow down the action, as for example, where a charachter stops in front of a rror to describe their own face and what they’re wearing. Description is necessary, but just as you said about colour it can be slotted into the action. There, but almost invisible. Like special effects, if you notice description , if it stands by itself, then it wasn’t well done.

  2. Absolutely,description is part of a good story. Now I would say descriptions can be written about the outside world but also about our inside worls,our inner life. That doesn’t mean that we have to bare our souls,but we can convey(throughn characters) some impressions of our inner feelings,like a character who would say,”I was alone,walking in that grey leaden atmosphere of that forlorn street”. THe colour conveys the feelings of the character.

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