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How do I describe my Castle

Toby Johnson

In my newest book, there is a large city with a central castle, how do i describe this though. Do I, like the Hobbit, describe the whole thing in the first couple pages. just like how JRR describes the whole hobbit hole in the first couple pages and then doesn't need to speak about it again, or do I describe it in increments as Senton (the main character) is walking about, so we see it as he sees it?


It is really up to you, how you go at describing the castle.

What do you believe would be more effective for the storyline and for your anticipated readership?
How much detail is necessary, and when should it be included?
Of course, some of the description will be influenced by the POV used.

My gut feeling is to introduce it and describe it as your main character observes and experiences, maybe supplemented by tales, commonly known history, and/or through other character observations and comments. Why? There will be some relevance and attachment for the reader, learning about the castle in context.

In the end, how much does the reader need to know about the castle to best/effectively tell the tale and move the plot forward?

K.S. Crooks

For situations like this I give a general description of the castle, with the focus on the outside. I like to focus on how others feel about the castle, whether it be majestic, scary, inspiring, etc. I provide more details when the characters go to the part of the castle. Too large amount of information at one time can cause readers to not remember what is needed at a later time.
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A. E. Lowan

Forum Mom
This is how we describe a castle in our WIP.

They crested a rise and the dark trees thinned, and before them was spread the faerie kingdom of Summer’s Splendor, drenched in sunshine and warmth, a shock from the January chill of Seahaven. The large village below was in the midst of what looked like a bumper harvest, all hands turned out to bring it in, even the small children. And above the village, atop a plateau, was the citadel of Heart Hill, gleaming white stone and gold flags and finials, home of King Anluan and Queen Niamh, co-rulers and partners in all things.

And from our first book, same castle, same character's POV.

Fortunately for the two of them, only one person was needed to navigate the paths of Faerie. Soon enough the light got bright beneath the trees and they crested a hill, coming in view of a glittering, glorious palace sitting atop a rise like a jewel in the forested setting. Cian’s lips parted, and he let out a soft breath.

They were home.

Descriptions can be as long or as short as suits you and your authorial style. Ours run short. GRRM has to describe every single tree on the road. Find your balance and you'll do fine.