Thursday, October 2

Finding the Descriptive Balance

Yesterday I read Kristan Higgins' new release In Your Dreams. It was a very good book. I finished it in a few hours.  One thing I did notice is how many times she described Jack's blue eyes. Seriously. A lot.

 Which made me realize  that I don't. Ever. I describe a character when they come on the scene, but then I forget about it. I think I might have to work on that.

Imagine the words I could add to my manuscript if I kept reminding readers what colors Dex's eyes are or how melty his smile is. Mmmm. 


When I wrote Bix, I kind of cheated because, after all, he was a 16-year-old boy, so how much was he going to notice anyway? So, I had him describe someone and tag them with a nickname--Bunyon Junior, Darby the pixie, Helen of Troy. Tell me, that you don't have at least an idea of what those characters look like with those nicknames.

The thing is, for a writer, I am the worst detail noticer. Yeah, I know noticer isn't a word, but I'm still going to use it.

 My husband can wear a goatee for like a year and it will take me a couple of weeks to realize he shaved it off. And I kiss him every day,usually several times a day--you'd think I'd figure it out sooner. But, sadly, no.

I'm the last person to realize my sister got a hair cut, changed her color, is wearing new lipstick. 

Mostly, because these things register low on the bar of the things I'm interested in. However, I will remember your birthday and eavesdrop on your conversations. Because I am always looking for good dialogue. And I just remember birthdays--kind of super power. An oddly useless super power, but there it is.

But I digress--

My current WIP, I think, requires some more description as it is women's fiction as opposed to Young Adult. I will probably be picking my blogmate's brains when it comes to polishing that aspect up on the book. Who am I kidding, probably the whole book.

So, tell me--what are your feelings about descriptions and when it is too much or not enough???

PS--Highly recommend reading In Your Dreams. Jack does have perfectly dreamy blue eyes and is just dreamy period.

 

10 comments:

  1. I agree. Jack is dreamy. I think writers often over-describe as opposed to under, and I'm okay with the under part because I want to draw the picture myself using the parameters that have been given. I will also admit that the heroine of my WIP has in fact had both gray and brown eyes. Speaking of having to "work on that." Great post, Margie!

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  2. LOL. Love that I'm not the only one who makes those mistakes :)

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  3. I like a little description - clear as mud? lolol I think hair/eye color is important (I've been known to forget, tho) but I don't want the characters I read described down to a T because I like to put my own spin on it...if that makes sense at all.

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    1. That's basically how I feel about it. But I'm afraid that sometimes I error on the side of bare minimum than happy medium.

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  4. I'm in the same class with the other kids who say they like to add their own deeds. When it comes to Romance, I think I'd rather the author describe feelings and moods, rather than physical stuff.

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    1. Sia--love that advice--about describing mood and feelings. Thank you. That actually helps a lot.

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  5. I dislike a lot of description. I like to figure things out for myself.

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  6. I've been reading 1st chapters in the SYTYCW contest, and thinking about description so this is good timing. I've decided the amount of description, to a point, is one aspect of a writer's voice. People who love description write more and it shows they love it. I will tolerate quite a bit of description if it is done in a unique way. My style is not to be super detailed and I think that is ok.

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    1. Cathy--that is so reassuring. Description is not a part of my voice no matter how hard I try to throw it in. Usually for me, it doesn't feel like I've done it organically. So, maybe it's just not something in my voice.

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