Writing Saturday; Descriptions

10:15 AM

Okay Jessica, you can stop laughing because I am not going to pretend I know all about descriptions. You see, I am horrible at descriptions. It isn’t that I do a bad job with them, it’s just I don’t do enough of them. People who have read my books (like Jessica) have told me that I don’t give enough descriptions of where the character is therefore they are totally lost as to where and when my book is taking place.

While I tend to have too little description in my book, I have read some books that have too much. They go on and on for two or three pages, and I’m just ready to get to the story, so I either skip a page or don’t read the book. So whereas my readers start my book confused because a lack of description, some books make their readers bored with too much description.

So how do we find the balance between too much and too little? To be quite honest, the only way I know of is to have someone read my book and honestly tell me what they think. Do you have any ideas?

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  1. I would reply to this tonight but I have to go to bed. lol! I will discuss this with you in the morning. lol! Somebody sure had fun with this post! Do I detect a little bit of playful banter? lol!

    I'll write ya' tomorrow.


  2. I think a good way of maybe checking out if you have to much description would be to look through your piece of writing and highlight all the adjectives. Since description usually has adjectives involved. Or just go through and highlight all the sections of description. Then, you could read through and see if the larger chunks or areas with more highlighted could be sized down a bit. Maybe not all the description is necessary. Keep in mind though that sometimes a large chunk of description is necessary to the story line. However, I would think that a whole page or more would be a bit much.

    Also, like Sarah said, have someone read it and give their opinion. Make sure that you don't allow yourself to get offended by their remarks. If you want your writing to be it's best, you have to be willing to see it's flaws from other people's points of view and make some changes for the better of the overall piece.

    Sometimes a lot of description isn't necessary at all. Not even a sentence. Keep in mind that description can be sneaked into your writing without it having to be registered as description. Like mentioning that a girl's white tennis shoes crunched across the stones as she walked. Both the words "white" and "crunched" describe things. However, you don't think as much about it because you are focusing on the girl and her walking. This leads you to think about Who this girl is, where she is going, what she will be doing when she gets there and what she is thinking.

    Think of description like you would about chocolate. If you eat to much, you will be sick of it. If you eat to little, you will crave it. But, eaten in small portions over a span of time is just right. Not to much, not to little. Put your description throughout your writing. That way, it is balanced out and you aren't focused on one particular chunk of it. insert small portions throughout rather than large, obtrusive blocks.

    lol Sarah! Am I really that touchy and transparent about descriptions? I guess so. It has always been one of my favorite parts of reading. If I can't see it in my head, I am disappointed. I have a big imagination and if it can't be used very much in a book I don't fully enjoy myself. That is funny that you noticed that about me. I never really thought about it. But I guess I am big on descriptions. Every time I go out I am constantly looking at things and describing them in my head. I suppose it helps me to take in the whole picture. As an artist, I have always paid close attention to details. But you are right, there is such a thing as to much description. And we need to be careful that we get that balance.