Sometimes less can be more

Being a writer, and of fantasy no less. You would think writing long, eloquent descriptions would be like stepping over an ant hill for me. Oddly enough, it’s quite the opposite. When it comes to descriptions, I prefer something brief that borders on being blunt. Instead of writing, “The burning sphere danced across the backs of cotton mists that filled the honey expanse above.” I’d prefer to write, “The sun rose in the sky.” Is it less wordy? Most definitely yes. But does it get the same point across? Yes.

The thing is, long descriptions are not my style. I can’t write an entire page about a character’s shirt, no matter how awesome I imagine their shirt to be. I love simplicity, unless the story calls for more detail. I mean, obviously if I’m talking about tenaki bread (which does exist in my upcoming novel) then that is one thing since you obviously don’t know what it is. (If you are wondering though, it is a green straw bread that is baked in the kilns of the centaurs of the Eastern realm of Terran. With a crunchy, flaky exterior, the light green interior is fluffy with the occasional clump of straw that failed to be ground, inside. It is a staple at dinners held in Terran Castle.) But if I’m talking about a black hoodie, well I don’t think you need to know every detail down to what color the thread is and what sewing method was used to create it. That to me is just overkill.

Not only is it overkill, but it just kills the imaginative component that I find is essential to a good fiction novel. I don’t know about everyone else, but when I read, I like brief descriptions because they allow my imagination to do some fiddling around with the details. I mean, I could read that a character’s love interest in a book has on a white dress and go in depth in my mind’s eye on how it looks. I could imagine it being a tea length, soft, white cotton sundress. While the author may have had an elegant ball gown made of chiffon, in mind. But without all those unnecessary details, I connect to the book in my own way.

To me that connection is important and I don’t want to sabotage it with going overboard on details. But that is just my personal opinion on the subject. What do you guys think? Do you like tons of detail, sparing detail, or a balance of the two when needed? Let me know below.


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