So just how good are you REALLY? It’s a good question to step back and ask yourself when writing.
We all know that details matter. They make the differences between a good story, a great story and a simply TERRIBLE story.
But how much is enough and is there such a thing as too much?
Good writing fires the readers imagination….great writing is unforgettable and makes a book stand out from all of the other hundreds of books in the same genre. So where do the details fit in?
Details are like the salt you use to season your food. Used properly you end up with a veritable feast of savory and exciting tastes, but use too much and you ruin what could have been something great.
While lots of details are rather necessary when describing the world of your story, its characters appearances and personalities, you may want to use some caution in using too much detail when describing EVENTS. ie….battle scenes or intimacy scenes.
Think of this example…Why is it that we are more interested in tantalizing glimpses than in full blown views? Simply put,
The human imagination is a strong and powerful force. Once it’s engaged it turns the mind to the thing at hand that has teased it….a scene, a sound, a smell. And it keeps our mind engaged in that subject until we learn what we wanted to know about it.
When we describe a battle scene or an intimacy scene, if we describe it in FULL detail, we leave nothing to the imagination. It puts us in danger of losing the full interest of the reader because there is nothing left for them to discover. They aren’t left wanting more, because it’s all been given to them.
It is good to endeavor to leave the reader wanting to know “What happened???” It keeps them hanging on til the end of the book so that they can find out the answers to all those tantalizing questions that were formed in their earlier reading.
If the writing is done well…not only will the reader want to finish the story, but when done REALLY well, the reader will want to read the book again and again…and it will NOT become a book that is easily forgotten because it is JUST like all the other books of its genre.
So when the suggestion was made to ask yourself “How good am I really?” It is a suggestion to help us all not to fall back on assuming the audience needs everything spelled out for them…We want to remember that we need to tease them and leave them hungering for more….We don’t want to become just another author…we want to become an unforgettable one.