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Descriptive Writing without Photos

Updated on September 2, 2013

From the largest to tiniest detail, it's worth mentioning!


Time is running out!

Have you ever found yourself up against a deadline that you knew you most likely would miss? The deadline would come and go and you would not have completed the task at hand?

As I approach the forest, my reality is that time is running out. I am on a quest to find out all I can about the family I never knew. My great-grandparents who passed before my grandfather. My grandfather who is dying.

I'm going back to my roots. The forest is vast and the path is long. But I shall walk to the end knowing my search will be completed.

Taking a walk through a forest.

Taking a well-needed break from everything, I decided to go someplace I've never been before.

I didn't have a camera to capture every thought about the vastness of the large forest ahead of me or the tiniest orange flower I came across on my walking path.

Encouraging the reader to envision where I've been every step of the way without photography to prove it.

The tiniest details matter the most.

When we write about our feelings, it's easy to get caught up in the moment before the computer keyboard and tell our readers that we are sad, angry, and frustrated.

But tell them how you really feel! Let them see your heart. Your inner voice speaks the loudest. It's the tiniest, minute detail that matters the most.

Stepping out of the front passenger side of the car, I placed my right foot down on the gravel laden roadway which I've stepped out on to many times before. But this time was different. I was on a mission to find the tiniest detail which I have missed on all of my walks before now.

Don't forget to include descriptive words.


Many people were there visiting for the holiday weekend.

This past holiday weekend, Labor Day, attracted many visitors. It was my chance to share my knowledge and experience about the area with people who had never been to it before.

Stopping to say hello to the man in the parking lot walking with a cane, his mixed breed dog with brown fur and white spots pulling on the leash in excitement. The dog seemed more excited than I was to walk these old paths.

But inside I knew the reward for me would be much more than exercise or a nice cold drink of water at the end of the trail.

I thirsted for knowledge. Our first encounter was a family of swans that stood on the shoreline ruffling their feathers after a nice long swim. We were so close to them that my hand could have reached out and touched the mother swan's white feathers. The babies had brown feathers still.

We took the high road this time.

This time we walked down the high road which was a dirt and gravel path bending around a corner to the forest.

The trail is long. We wore comfortable shoes, but the small gravel rocks were able to get inside making it difficult to walk long distances without shaking out our shoes.

The trees were thick with green foliage and lined the path, curving to the right or left depending on which way the path turned.

Some details are worth repeating!

Black-staining polypore
Otherwise known as the bracket fungus.
Commonly found at the base of oak and beech trees.
They thrive in humid, rainy climates nearing early fall.

Fruit was in bloom.

We were surprised that more little forest animals were not walking along the trails with us to gather fruit for the winter.

Long twisting grape vines were dangling above us in the air teasing us as we tried to reach out to the giant purple globes of fresh fruit. I found one grape hidden behind a bittersweet vine leaf. I picked it.

After checking it for bug holes, I cleaned it off against the pink t-shirt I was wearing and popped it in to my mouth. The sweetness overtook my senses for a minute. As I enjoyed every juicy bite of that one grape, the seeds were too hard to chew. Swallowing, I continued walking.

For the first time, I noticed mushrooms growing in the moist earth around some of the rotting tree stumps. I looked around for the kinds of mushrooms my grandfather used to hunt when I was a child. It must have been too early in the season. They usually appear mid-September after the rains.

In the calm pooled pond, we found another surprise.

On the other side of the double-sided strip of sand was calm pooled water. Among the critters that walked across the murky bottom were hermit crabs, spider crabs, snails, and a long fish that resembled a water moccasin but had small fins. It swam away as I reached down in to the water and touched it's long slender body.

Turning the corner to the shore.

We found what we were looking for after about a mile-long walk through the forest.

We found a piece of ocean coming from Long Island Sound resting at a strip of sand that we walked for the first time.

As we walked down the shell and rock tumbled sand, we spotted a baby fawn. It had lost its way from mom and looked to us for guidance. Of course without a camera, I can only hope to capture it's beauty through my writing. It stood with its ears perked and brown fur with spots like Bambi. It watched our every move, keeping its distance, but edging nearer as we walked further away. Finally when the fawn realized it was getting too far away from home, it sprinted back and out of sight.

We came upon a family at the end of the sand enjoying the summer boating, fishing and swimming in the wavy warm waters.

We turned around and headed back to the forest.

The walk is shorter going back.

Heading back through the forest, the walk seemed shorter.

We didn't stop at every interesting detail in the woods because we had already closely inspected it as we walked through the first time.

This time we were able to enjoy the company on the trail more including the man with the Labrador puppy. It reminded me of my own dog who I loved as a child. She loved coming here to this exact place. Her feet got cut up on shells one time so badly my grandfather ordered customized water boots to fit her feet. I have such happy memories of driving in my grandfather's old pickup truck with my dog on our way to the shore to skip rocks.

Having those memories in mind, I approached the puppy with ultimate delight as she jumped on me and licked my face. It brought me back to when time stood still. I could envision being there again as a small girl bravely attempting to act like I could skip rocks like my grandfather, when instead they simply fell with a plop. My dog happily eager to fetch them back when she could find them where they landed.

I was quickly interrupted when the man started walking again. I had tuned out all reality around me and was remembering days from old. I said goodbye sadly as if I was saying goodbye again to the past.

Do you write with visually stimulating words or do you use photos for that purpose?

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Living near the shore is a way of life.

Some people think that only the rich and famous live near the shore. A big myth in society is only the wealthy can afford it.

While I am not rich with wealth, I am wealthy in memories.

This shoreline was a way of life for my family. In coming articles, I plan on writing about this hidden treasure. The secrets swept out to sea in the 1938 hurricane that plagued the New England coastline. How families survived living off the fruits of the ocean.

For now, I will leave you with this. When you write descriptively, you need not worry so much about the photographs as much as you do about your words. Photos should add to your articles, not be the article. Use your photos to enhance your words and help guide your readers to visual stimulation.

The tiniest details are usually the most descriptive!



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    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Thank you DDE! I had no camera on me that day and I couldn't believe what I was missing photos of, but it led me to write this to show that words can be effective.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Descriptive Writing without Photos awesome hub, photos give a hub such a beautiful impression and make sit look so professional.

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      LOL Moonlake! Well, truth be told, when I have my camera I'm never satisfied with just one photo. I come back and unload about 500 at a time.

    • moonlake profile image


      5 years ago from America

      Your very good at this I'm not I have to have photos. I voted up and shared.

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Thank you so much Alice! I will visit your Hubs too!

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Hi Carter! Thank you for your kind comments.

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Thank you Bearnmom! It's nice to see you.

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Thank you Billy! That sure does mean a lot! My writing has been stifled most of my life. So I guess I'm learning how to come out of my shell now.

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Hi DreamerMeg! Thank you for stopping by. Nice to see you.

    • CraftytotheCore profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Hi Bravewarrior! Thank you. The little deer was about 3 feet tall, perky ears, spots all over, white streak along the tail. LOL :)

    • profile image

      Alice Ann Day 

      5 years ago

      You did an excellent job of taking us all with you on your walk. Good one. I hope my writing could be just as descriptive as yours! Voted UP

    • carter06 profile image


      5 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Good job on this one..I enjoyed the visual forest walk thank you.. as a fiction writer I need all the help I can get and it really helps to hear descriptive details in writing..Cheers

    • bearnmom profile image

      Laura L Scotty 

      5 years ago from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

      Your words did the job. The pictures enhanced them. This is a job well done and very instructive.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Since my camera is broken I have to really on my craft or I'm sunk. You are such an engaging writer. I hope you realize just how good you are. Thanks for a very enjoyable read.


    • DreamerMeg profile image


      5 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Lovely, descriptive writing. Great hub, thanks.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      5 years ago from Central Florida

      Nice job, Crafty. I was with you thru the forest and smelled the salty air at the shoreline. I would have liked more description of the fauna you saw while walking the forest. The grape was tasty, tho!


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