Is It Easy / Difficult For You To Visualize A Vehicle's Appearance With Written Description?


There’s this question I would like to ask. When it comes to describing how a vehicle looks, is it easy or difficult to visualize how it looks? Is it difficult for you to write a description of how something looks? For me, it is a bit difficult without getting too technical in the terms (Turret ring, upper glacis, gun mantlet, coaxial machine gun), so I’ve tried doing a simple description in a chapter I have yet to publish.

A fast-moving tracked tank sped onto the bridge, a small turret atop its long body. It was firing from its 90mm cannon and its top and coaxial .50 caliber machine guns.

Below is a picture of how it actually looks.

Click Here


I followed very well from fast-moving tracked tank with a small turret. You lost me after that… but others may know what it means or look it up.
Most people will be able to visualize what a tank looks like though.

maybe reword it though to separate fast-moving and tracked…
“A tank sped onto the bridge as it tracks clicked against the pavement, barely audible above the booming of it’s 90mm cannon and the shuttering roar of the machine guns.”
or something like that…


What the hell kind of vehicle are you writing?


I believe the answer to your question is more subjective to the type of vehicle than just “vehicles” in general. For instance it is not hard to write the description of a panel van driving down a crowded highway, but for a ship that traverses the expanse of space I find it quite difficult.

In one series I am writing most things happen on or around the space shuttle “Atlas” which is a ship of my own design. While I have the general layout figured out in my head I 1. do not have the artistic ability to render a visual aid to give people, and 2. usually keep scenes that speak of the ship itself vague to give the reader the chance to understand but otherwise give it their own visual identity. Which in turn requires me to keep my notes near at all times so that I don’t mix up what level or section of the ship I have placed something previously.


Mostly military ground equipment in the realm of Armored Fighting Vehicles, Armored Personnel Carriers, Infantry Fighting Vehicles, Self-Propelled Guns, etc.


To the point of your question and what you will be writing about the description may not be too hard to visualize if it is kept vague. For those people, myself included, who have served in the armed forces or been close to it their whole life all the technical jargon would not be an issue and the visualization perhaps more accurate. When I was in we used the saying " Keep it simple(,) stupid." I use the () around the , because you can say it either way and the point gets across lol


I think unless your book is very very military based and aimed at readers who know a lot about that stuff, then it could be in too much depth. Personally, I was lost after the first sentence and I know a fair amount about weapons, so I assume they’re the kind of specifics most people would skim over, and then as a result they’d miss part of the description. My advice to you would be to remove the numbers and maybe describe the shape of the weapons on the tank and also maybe the effect they’re have if fired. I think this allows readers to envision their own adaptation of the tank you describe, but at least with a similar strength and power so they know the danger it presents.


As @daydreamingyouth mentioned, only a very specific audience will care about the caliber of guns and whether it was coaxial or not. The rest of us will just find those kinds of details annoying because they’re frankly irrelevant to the plot. Unless they are relevant for some reason. Like later on they have to go in search of a replacement part and the type of gun part they need is rare or something. Then it will make sense to mention such details. However you don’t want to do it during a high-action scene. The details of action scenes should be on the action, not the mechanics. We’ll want to hear about the thunderous blasting noise the cannons made, not the fact they were .50 caliber. The deafening noise will tell the reader the gun is big. The numbers won’t if we don’t know what the numbers mean.


My story is going to be very military-related, and it’s also going to be very heavy on how the technological gap between weapons is enough to skew entire battles and eventually the entire war to one side. I believe mentioning the types of weapons being made and the much more advanced foreign weapons being sold would help carry that message to the reader.


Hey there :slight_smile:

The Wattpad Feedback and News Clubs are where you can go to talk about features you want, and complain about UI changes on Wattpad and Community. HQ also posts here often for research requests, AMAs and user interviews.

Looking at your thread it seems that it is more suited to the #improve-your-writing club.

@MayTijssen Can you please help? ^^. Thanks =]


As mentioned above, I have moved your thread to a place more suited for the topic :slight_smile:


Difficult actually, For high fantasy / sci-fi vehicles,
Usually I don’t describe with too many technical details, just general looks and appearance with words that are easy for readers to comprehend, then let the readers imagine/visualize the vehicles by themselves.