Storytelling vs Describing, when introducing a scene

Storytelling vs Describing, when introducing a scene

When introducing a scene in writing, two main styles can be used: storytelling and describing.

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‌Here are two variations, you decide which is better:

1. Described

The inconspicuous building blended seamlessly with its surroundings, lacking any distinguishing markings. The nondescript façade hid an entrance that led to a highly secure and technologically advanced office space. Biometric scanners and security cameras lined the walls, ensuring strict control over access.

Inside, the hallway exuded modern design, with electronically controlled doors featuring negative pressure seals for hygiene purposes. The corporate boardroom stood as the centrepiece of the office, boasting a large video conferencing system and multiple screens displaying live analyst reports and data dashboards.

The room was equipped with breakout areas featuring comfortable couches, providing a less formal setting for smaller gatherings. Adjacent to the boardroom, a catering and refreshment area catered to the needs of extended engagements that could span days or weeks.

The office's level of detail and sophistication indicated that no expense had been spared in creating this secure and cutting-edge environment. It was a place where ideas could be exchanged, and strategies devised under the watchful eye of state-of-the-art surveillance and physical security measures

And what appears in the book:

2. Storytelling

Wren approached the inconspicuous building, a nondescript structure tucked away in an unassuming corner of the city. Its façade lacked any distinguishing markings or emblems, making it blend seamlessly with its surroundings. Yet, as Wren's keen eyes surveyed the area, she couldn't shake the feeling that something was off. There was an eerie sense of surveillance, an invisible presence that lingered in the air.

As she stepped through the entrance, the heavy doors closed behind her with a resounding thud. The transition was striking. The cold, hard exterior gave way to a warm and inviting atmosphere. The hallway she entered was adorned with sleek, modern design, the walls lined with security cameras, biometric scanners replaced door knobs, and other high-tech devices she couldn't immediately identify.

Passing through a series of electronically controlled doors, she noted that some of them were using negative pressure seals that she recognised as what is called class N, where rooms are not provided as much air as the exhaust inside the room takes, so people outside of the room are protected from any infectious airborne particles inside the room that are removed through filtration systems for hygiene rather than any quarantine needs.

Wren was directed to a spacious corporate boardroom. Wren, dressed in a sleek black suit, exuded an air of confidence as she stepped into the debriefing room, but what she encountered inside left her with a sense of wonder that she didn't anticipate.

The room exuded an air of sophistication and cutting-edge technology beyond what the security and filtration systems revealed already. A large video conferencing system dominated one wall, capable of connecting with individuals across the globe in real-time. Alongside it, multiple screens displayed live analyst reports and complex data dashboards, that might normally provide a comprehensive overview of the organisation's operations - or a real fun after hours game room she thought.

The room boasted breakout areas with comfy looking couches, where smaller gatherings could take place in a less formal setting. Adjacent to the boardroom, a catering and refreshment area was set up, hinting at the potential for long stays and intensive work sessions that could span days or even weeks. The facilities were well-appointed, catering to every need that might arise during these extended engagements.

Wren couldn't help but marvel at the level of detail and sophistication that surrounded her. It was clear that no expense had been spared in creating this secure, technologically advanced, comfortable environment. It was a place where ideas could be exchanged, and strategies devised, all under the watchful eye of cutting-edge surveillance and physical security.

Which do you think is better?

The difference between the two styles

  1. Omniscient narrator
    In a described method the narrator perspective is omniscient, there is no way to relate as a reader, but the reader is able to imagine a visual faster and the story can progress if there is something more important to focus on.
  2. First-person perspective
    The perspective of the co-protagonist Wren here allows the reader to experience a relatable, believable, first person perspective. If Wren doesn't see or notice it, the reader is also none-the-wiser. This style immerses the reader and allows the imagination to create each individual reveal in the minds eye far more vividly than if the entire scene was laid out to them at once.

There are benefits for both methods, and in a suspense thriller the vivid detail and immersion is critical, but for sci-fi, fantasy, or romance the surroundings are beside the purpose of the genre.

Which style works for which genre

Storytelling focuses on the characters' experiences, often adopting a first-person perspective to immerse readers in the protagonist's emotions and thoughts. This style is especially effective in immersive thrillers, where the readers' adrenaline and sense of realism rely on a strong emotional connection to the scene's surroundings. In this genre, the first-person perspective allows readers to feel like they are experiencing the events alongside the protagonist.

On the other hand, other genres utilize a descriptive approach, emphasizing the atmosphere and surroundings of the scene to evoke a specific state of mind in readers, enabling them to relate to the characters' experiences. While the details in descriptive scenes are crucial for authenticity and coherence, they serve as complementary elements rather than the primary concern of the story, as is the case in thrillers.

Another crucial aspect of storytelling is the choice of the narrator. An omniscient narrator possesses knowledge of all characters' thoughts and actions, providing a broader view of the story. In contrast, a first-person perspective limits the narrative to the protagonist's point of view, offering a more intimate and personal connection between the reader and the character.

Ultimately, the effectiveness of each style depends on the genre being written. Thrillers heavily rely on the emotional connection between readers and the scenes, making first-person perspectives a potent tool. In contrast, other genres can achieve their objectives through well-crafted descriptions and atmospheric elements that create a relatable experience for the reader.

Thank you for supporting me, and I look forward to taking you on an exhilarating ride through the Sentinel Unleashed series and beyond.

Cryptocurrency - Book 2 of Sentinel Unleashed

Eli, a brilliant hacker turned fugitive, finds himself trapped in a perilous cat-and-mouse game. With every digital trace serving as a potential death sentence, he is forced to navigate a treacherous world of conspiracy and corruption. As he delves deeper into the shadows, Eli confronts his inner demons and pushes his abilities to their limits. In a race against time, he battles for his freedom, knowing that one wrong move could seal his fate forever.

Amidst the chaos, we are introduced to Olivia, a visionary determined to revolutionize the cryptocurrency landscape. With Eli by her side, they embark on a daring mission that challenges the very foundations of the virtual realm. Their path intertwines with that of Emily, an unsuspecting user who becomes entangled in a complex web of events. As the virtual and real world collide, their destinies become intertwined, and they must navigate a landscape fraught with danger and deception.

Meanwhile, Task Force Kabukicho, a covert group of cybersecurity professionals, emerges on the scene. Driven by a relentless pursuit of justice, they are hot on the trail of a mysterious figure known as The_Baker. As their investigation unfolds, they unravel secrets that shake the core of the digital realm. Amidst the chaos, Wren and Jason, seeking solace from their tumultuous lives, find themselves drawn to the tranquillity of the natural world. Yet, the relentless grasp of cyberspace threatens to disrupt their newfound bond, leaving them to question if they can truly escape its clutches.

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