Descriptions without a Clue

Monsters. Plenty exist. Humanoid, alien, other. They scare, or are ugly, or merely provide a presence or background to a more interesting action or scene. But when they take centre stage, they are headliners. Except when their description read,s “A [something horrifyingly monstery goes here] rose of the water.” Or, more simply, “[monster description] did something [horrific description].”

Many such encounters end with me writing a note to self: “What does the blasted thing look like?” In the next paragraph, my protagonist lops off an arm or two. Note to self: “How many arms does this thing have? Actually, does it have arms? Appendages?”

This type of notation is useful, but it makes it difficult to write a tense or scary scene. For example:

Josephine turned down the well-lit lane she had used since she was five. But tonight, it felt off, strange and unforgiving. Its ground and walls rejected her, pushed her away. And the whispers told her to venture no farther. Only the dead awaited her, ready to feed off her living flesh, her warm blood, active brain. The dea were ready to strip her skin and approached even now. Silent. Deadly. Behind. She whirled, her scream catching in her throat. Before her stood an apparition of [something? Pooh!].

Next monster, please!

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Descriptions without a Clue

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