Monday, September 26, 2011

Over at Novel Spaces today

I'm over at Novel Spaces today, talking about the use and overuse of description in fiction. I hope you'll join me.
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10 comments:

Cloudia said...

I like suggestive, rather than MANY words!


Warm Aloha from Waikiki;

Comfort Spiral


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Deka Black said...

I... depends on the subject. But i like being suggestive... and in some cases, clear.

There is no ultimate answer. each situation needs a type.

Charles Gramlich said...

Cloudia, that's the best way. Just enough to create an image in the reader's head.

Deka, you're right. I guess that's why writing is still an art and not a science.

Oscar said...

A good description of using good description.

Charles Gramlich said...

Oscar, thanks!

Erik Donald France said...

On NS: Agreed. The more different from the every day present, the more helpful are the telling details folded in.

Add: unless you want readers to think of every day now things in a different way, like Picasso vision or its equivalent.

oceangirl said...

I always enjoy your teaching, heading that way now.

Charles Gramlich said...

Erik, I think that kind of distortion of reality is used a lot in horror fiction. Take something normal and make it 'different' in some way.

Ocean girl, thankee!

ivan said...

No question that you write very well!

But too much description can lead to over-writing (Say it on: purple prose).
I think you did not over-write your two example passages from Wings Over Talera in the blog just before this one (and I understand that sci-fi writing needs to be a bit "goosed"), but the passage where "Vohanna took another step toward me. And a third. Down the skull steps from her throne she came, and it seemed her sandals spurned the dusky wine that cascaded beneath her feet. Her eyes teemed with scarlet embers and with...other things"--had me almost doing a double- take.
But I stayed with the passion of the writing.
It made me think of what the late Norman Mailer used to say about writing: The rendering of powerfully felt emotion, on the printed page, with elegance and tact.

But in the last count, I'd say you do write beatifully, certainly with elegance and tact.

Charles Gramlich said...

Ivan, thanks. I appreciate that, as one wordsmith to another. Personally, I much enjoy purple-tinged prose, although it can certainly go too far.