16 December 2016

It's all in the Details

Written by Sarah-Maree

Every story needs details to help a reader become immersed in the world being described. However, too many of the wrong details can stifle a piece.

I recently struggled with this issue myself. The culprit: new clothes. The character went from rags to riches and struggled with the fancy attire. After writing it, I asked myself: Is it REALLY necessary? And would a reader care?

As with all details, there has to be a reason for them. My own reason was to add humor and insight into the world, along with a later problem the clothes caused with their symbolic meaning. In the end I had a few paragraphs where the clothing was BRIEFLY described, and those paragraphs were spread out so as to not overwhelm my readers. Why? Because while I found the detail important enough to have, I felt it necessary to break it up too.

No one wants a paragraph of fluff, or that looks deceptively like fluff. Odds are, if it's a detail that can be forgotten, then it probably isn't important enough to keep.

For you other writers out there, keep an eye out for those details you dislike in books when you read them. For me, it's face description, hair color, eye color, skin color, clothing, and scenery. Are they important? They can be, but if skimming, eye glazing, tears of boredom, or a coma occurs, then probably not. The last thing a writer wants is a book that bores a reader into closing it forever. Readers are people too.

So keep writing those vivid details, and if a reader cries, make sure it's not from boredom ;)

Photo Credit: Pixabay

About the Author

I may not be the nerdiest nerd you’ve ever met, but I still like to think of myself as a lover of science, video games, and of course, books.


Read plenty, read often

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