Inspired by this question and the fact that I keep saying 'washing machine' when my brain goes blank (Seriously, I forgot the word stone the other day when describing cave walls) I figured I would ask for some tips.
So: How do I get better at describing the environment and the creatures within?
You turn the corner and a demon is standing there
I would rather say
Just as you turn the corner, you nearly stop in mid-stride as wave of hot, dry air wafts over you, reeking of sulphur and burning flesh. Blinking your burning eyes, you see a beast born from the stuff of nightmares, its hateful eyes glowing with malice. It opens its fanged mouth and emits a hiss, sounding like a drop of water striking a heated branding iron
I had to google the above, and this was my second example because originally I wanted to describe a dragon, but literally couldn't think of any description other than 'a dragon'. To make it worse my googling for dragon descriptions brought up sites to teach kids adjectives... the shame :(
For reference: my current technique is to picture the scene and mention 3 useful things and one fluff thing. I have no problem figuring the things I want to talk about, but just getting the correct adjectives in my head is often incredibly time consuming and impossible on the fly.
Also: my current group have no issues with how I am doing this now, it is purely a self-improvement exercise and to try and cut down on my prep time.