Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Something I've been noticing lately...

I've been reading through several indies lately, books that is, and I noticed that something just didn't seem right. And for a while, I couldn't quite put my finger on what it was. But I think I may have just figured it out.

What seems to be missing from most of these books is: description.

Now, I'm not saying I'm the best writer in the world. In fact, I feel I am far from it most of the time. But when I read through some of these books, I sometimes have a hard time picturing just what something looks like, like the setting or the mood or an object. Plenty is given about how the characters look, sometimes. I'm not asking for things to be overly described. That would be a total snooze fest. Just give me enough to form an image in my head, and I'll do the rest. I'm creative. I can do that.

Maybe it's just me, but I like having rich descriptions. It makes the world and the story feel whole. More real. Like I'm watching a movie in my head.

Fantasy stories are the worst culprit, however. If you make something up, I believe you have to describe it. For example, if the author mentions something like, oh I don't know, 'Elf Fire', and leaves it at that, I really don't know what that is. Don't just tell me, show me.

I know what it's like, trying to toe the line between too much and too little description. But I think most writers are too scared to include hardly any in their stories, afraid that they broke some sort of rule. It's been hammered into our heads for awhile now, after all. 'No long descriptions or you will bore your reader!' Usually at the cost of the story. Good descriptions can be short and work with your story. Stephen King is the master of this, I think. Go read one of his books and you'll know exactly what he's trying to show you.

This is all just a rant of mine. Take from it what you will.

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