When enough is enough
How much description is enough? Some prefer as many details as possible (even bordering on lavish) while others are minimalist, or at least attempt to be and end up not painting a very good picture. I’m in Limbo.
I’ve read stories with long, paragraph length descriptions and loved it. Then I’ve read others of equal length and thought, “Wow. That was way too much.” Both styles are acceptable, I think subject matter and the flow of the story truly dictate which works best. Different levels of talent also come into play. Some authors can make just about anything work.
Personally, in some places I write too much and in others, too little. I’m still trying to find the happy medium. I keep telling myself, “expand upon important subject matter and be sparse with the extra tidbits.”
In an earlier post, I mentioned having to delete about 60% of my manuscript. This I why. I had entire paragraphs, even chapters dedicated to things that simply weren’t that important. For example, in my novel Panmesia there was a scene in which the MC, Ciarán had a vivid, foreshadowing dream. I got so into it, I wrote about 3,000 words worth of dream. Yeah, it was important. But not that important.
Even now, I still struggle with deciding what stays and what goes. I have pages upon pages of scenes I’m eager to use, but just don’t make the cut. As for the ones that are useable, for the most part they’ve been shortened down to paragraph or two.
What do you all prefer? Lavish? Minimalism? A healthy medium? All of the above? Other? I’d love to know…if you could make sense of my ramblings of course. 🙂