Monday, May 31, 2010
In the Details
Too much detail and all we offer is mess and chaos. The reader finds herself sifting through wads of pointless description and grows bored. Too little detail and all the reader gains is a vague blur.
The reader is a skilled traveller. Even though you take them on a journey, they can fill in many of the gaps. They can create the places, furnish the spaces, but they also want a guide’s hand through your world. They want the highlights pointed out. They want to be able to touch your vision and experience it as if it were their own.
They want to smell the burning toast, but most importantly, they want to feel. They want to care. Their emotions are directed through focussing your writer’s lens in all the right places.
How do you find the right balance of detail in your stories? How do you know if you’ve written enough detail or too much?