Friday, April 6, 2012
Do you add detailed descriptions in your stories?
In the WIP I am querying, I have created a fantasy world where there are objects, food and animals one would normally not find around us. My descriptions were brief. My crit partner Mark Noce pointed out that even if I were to use just a line or two of descriptions for both the people and objects it would make a huge difference to my story as it would bring things to life.
Seeing the book from Mark’s point of view, I realized that it was true. The hard and fast rule of less descriptions does not apply to all stories. Some stories thrive on details which bring the people, objects and things to life. I went through the entire manuscript and added small details (just a line or two) in places that I felt needed a little more detailed descriptions.
I have noticed that books that fall heavily into the literary genre rely a lot on descriptions. For thrillers there are speedy descriptions as though the hero/heroine is seeing things in a fast forward motion. For children’s books, the writer has to describe things in such a way as to interest the small reader.
One point everyone talks about is that the descriptions we use should be crucial to the story or take it forward. Descriptions that weigh the story down need to be deleted.
How do you all handle the descriptions in your stories? Are you the kind who thrive on detailed descriptions? Or do you believe that less is more? Do you keep a separate revising day just for working on descriptions? Please share your methods with us. We would love to get some advice that will help us when we tackle the descriptions in our stories.