Monday, August 8, 2011

Less is more?

Wow... totally late today. Sorry about that. I spent the day in Hollywood with my BFF yesterday and totally forgot to get my post together last night.

Okay, today I want to talk about learning something new about yourself when it comes to writing. See, I'm not an overly-descriptive writer. I don't go into a ton of detail. Even when I'm reading and there are sections packed full with explaining every, little thing, I start to browse read because it loses my attention. I'm definitely not saying one way is better than the other, it's just my preference when it comes to writing. Other people can pull it off much better than I can.

So yeah, I've always known this about myself, but when I finished up my first round of revision on my book and sent it to one of the members of my Trio of Awesomeness, Jolene (other members include Kelley York and Wendy Higgins), I learned something about myself.

The situations where I tend to overly explain things are always big, huge emotional scenes. The big emotional fight scene? Yep, gave way too much. Explained too much. The make up scene? I think I decided to see how many ways I could say the same thing and explain every, single emotion like they weren't obvious. LOL.

So, that's what I've learned about myself lately.

Have you learned something new about yourself and your writing?

If not, if you're a reader or a writer, do you prefer books that that go with less is more or do you like more detail?


  1. For me, there is a fine line between the two (on where I fall in preferences anyway)...I like enough details but not an overabundant amount where it causes me to skim.

  2. I have to agree, I want just enough detail so I can enjoy it and use my own imagination. That's the fun in reading. I noticed with my WIP that I don't give to much detail, hopefully just enough to fill in the blanks with your imagination.

  3. Girls in the Stacks,
    Yes, I think that fine line is the best place, but not always easy to get to. LOL

  4. Cynthia,
    Sounds like we're on the same page!

  5. You're so awesome :D

    I'm the same about description. I skim over it when i read, so I rarely want to tackle it when I write.

    It's a bedroom! Use your imagination! I don't care what you think it looks like!!

    It's hard with characters, we know every thought, every reason, and wouldn't it be awesome if they said it so the other person knew, too?

    It's SO SO hard. Can't wait to see what the other people say - they might get to those scenes and be like - KELLEY! You totally left us hanging!!!

  6. I like to throw in a few key details so you get an impression of what the place is like and can use your imagination to see the rest. I mean, if it's a bedroom, is it tidy or neat? Does it smell like old gym socks? Are the walls painted white or are there posters and cut outs from magazines glued to it?

    Little things like that can tell you so much about a character and the world they live in.

  7. I'm probably more overly descriptive in the first draft, because I'm telling myself the story at that point. The best advice someone gave me came from a blog she saw. I wish I could readily find that link. But the advice is "Write hot, revise cold." In other words, get all of that emotional details you can about the situation or the setting. Be as overly descriptive as you want, until you're sure you know the mood and emotional conflict in a scene. When you revise, go at it with a cool head.

  8. Jolene, Thanks. And for this revision, I have different people reading *cough Kate Cough* so it will be fun to see what she and Evie think having never read teh book.

  9. I definitely prefer minimal description and, like you, start to skim if there's too much. I write like that too. My first revision ALWAYS adds a lot of wordage because I hardly ever describe anything the first time around.

  10. I LOVE Jolene! Like, oh my gosh.

    I try to keep descriptive sections down to two paragraphs, and one is even better. Just a few key sentences for the most important details, and let the readers fill in the rest with their own imaginations.

    What I've learned about myself, after writing two manuscripts, is that I'm not as good at writing dialogue as I used to think. I also thought I sucked at battle scenes, but to my surprise, my beta readers have told me I write those well.