Working on getting better at my descriptive passages, been thinking a bit about how it works too. For instance if I write:
"It was a summer day and the sun was shining brightly."
That's an alright description to get the reader in the right frame of mind but is it the same as:
"It was mid-summer and it was so hot and muggy that the second you stepped outside you were covered in sweat. The sun was a ball of fire in the sky, an evil yellow orb that scorched the earth making the business of living a veritable Hell."
Or how about the classic "It was a dark and stormy night?"
How about if I change it to: "There was no moon that night and the darkness was almost suffocating. The rain fell in sheets, blown back and forth by a vengeful howling wind."
Works better doesn't it?
It works for people too.
"Jim was a pimply faced teenager."
"Jim's face was pocked with old acne scars and fresh new black and white heads, covered by a sheen of oil. Needless to say, puberty had not been kind to Jim."
"Mary was a tramp."
"Mary had had sex with almost every of age male in town and it was whispered that she had lain with a few youngsters too. And a couple dogs, if old Barney's word could be trusted."
I'll have to dig out my copy of Stephen King's On Writing again. That book has a ton of good literary advice that methinks I need. If I remember right there's some good experiments in it that I could try.