Posted by: nancycurteman | October 5, 2014

Too Much Description, Too Much Explaining

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Our goal as authors is to enable readers to “experience” a story. Description is one of our best tools for enhancing reader experience. Not long drawn-out information dumps that slow story pace but short, vivid descriptions that evoke emotion.

As authors we often fall into the trap of over describing and explaining.

We worry that readers will not have a clear picture of a place or a good understanding of a character’s feelings or reactions unless we pile on the adjectives, adverbs and explanatory comments. This is a formula for failure because it takes the reader out of the story and into the world of the narrator.

The best way to ensure unobtrusive description is to paint an image through the eyes of characters. Simply describe what they see, feel and react to as they go about their story lives. Character actions and dialogue are the best vehicles for vivid description.

Have faith in your readers. Allow them to picture their own version of events. The fact is they don’t care about what you see and think about a scene. They care about what your character experiences. Let your characters’ actions portray their environment and emotions. This is what propels the story forward.


More Tips:

6 Ways to Avoid “Information Dumps” in a Mystery Novel

4 Do’s and Don’ts of  ”Show, Don’t Tell.”

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