Sunday, 15 April 2012

Over-explaining and Descriptions

My first novel, Sign of the Times is already available from Amazon -

Today has been an excellent day. Received my first review by an independent reviewer, not simply a satisfied reader - check it out on

Anyway, now to today's work, which started this evening, I must confess. Too much on today and a bit tired after our friend's wedding yesterday. Was up at 8am, but not at my most creative!
Still managed my 1000 words minimum today.  One theme I wanted to mention today was over-explaining things.  Sometimes, I personally over-explain, or use two or three different ways of saying the same thing, to reinforce points in everyday life.  This was probably a symptom of my life in Sales and necessary for those roles. Sometimes it may be necessary to reinforce items, but I find that when I write, I need to remember not to overexplain things, as it can be very irritating as an intelligent reader, not to be left to work anything out for yourself.

I mentioned yesterday about creating three peripheral characters and how much I enjoyed writing their specifics. However, what I would like to throw into the mix here, is I don't think it's a good idea to write description for description's sake.  Having studied literature at university, I found myself skipping through the lengthy descriptions in Balzac's work (and I know they are works of genius, but they are so heavy, especially when you are reading the original version and not that in translation).  Dickens was a master in the same way, but we don't all purport to be of the same school of thought as these two.  In the genre I am writing in, contemporary women's fiction, description should be there to paint the scene, evoke the images and the senses. Readers should not want to skip over the description - everything in moderation.  Likewise you can go to the other extreme. There is nothing worse than a badly written novel with little description, which is great if you have an imagination, but doesn't grip you in the same way, as when the description conjures up images. 
Right, you may see a recurring theme here, but my tea's ready, so until tomorrow, Sooz

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