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Lyrical Prose: How to Make Your Descriptions Sing

Ah, words. They’re not just for relaying events and dialogues. When used right, they can paint vivid images, evoke intense emotions, and transport readers to new worlds. Enter lyrical prose – where writing meets poetry, and the dance of words begins. Let’s dive into creating descriptions that don’t just tell, but sing.

1. Obsession with Observation: Being a writer is being an observer. Take in your surroundings. See the crimson tint of a sunset, hear the mournful cry of the winter wind, feel the grit of sand beneath your feet. Need inspiration? Brain Pickings frequently discusses the observational genius of great writers.

2. The Rhythm Factor: Read your descriptions out loud. Do they have a rhythm, a cadence? A lyrical touch often has a melodic quality to it. This article on Literary Hub discusses the rhythm in the prose of classic literature.

3. Show, Don’t Just Tell: Instead of saying “she was sad,” describe her “eyes, brimming with unsung laments.” Dive deep into the art of showing, not telling with Reedsy’s comprehensive guide.

4. Precise Word Choices: Pick words that evoke emotion and paint clear pictures. Avoid clichés. The right adjective or verb can change the entire flavor of a sentence. Need a word? Thesaurus isn’t just a tool; it’s a treasure trove.

5. Less is Often More: Lyrical doesn’t mean verbose. Sometimes, the most profound emotions are evoked through the simplest words. Ernest Hemingway’s minimalistic, yet deeply poetic style is a testament to this. Dive into The Paris Review to read more about crafting poignant brevity.


  • Q: Isn’t lyrical prose just purple prose in disguise?
    • A: Not necessarily. Purple prose is overly ornate without purpose. Lyrical prose is poetic but still serves the narrative.
  • Q: How do I avoid making my lyrical prose sound forced?
    • A: It’s all about authenticity. If a description feels true to the scene and the character’s perspective, it’ll resonate.

For those yearning for more, immerse yourself in The Power and Pleasure of Lyrical Prose featured in The Writer Magazine.

And there you have it! Lyrical prose is not just about fancy words, but about feelings, observations, and connections.

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