I have a problem.
If I start watching a television show, or read the first book of a series, I have to watch all the seasons or read all the books in the series. I hate the idea of leaving things unfinished. Unfortunately, sometimes that means getting stuck watching or reading something you find totally boring.
We all know what it was like in high school, when we were forced to read some dreadful novel that just didn’t appeal to us the way a YA novel did. Currently, I’m facing this dilemma. I’ve started a series—one that shall not be named—and not only are the books terribly boring, but they are so freaking long. Oh, and there are about ten books in the series.
Anywho, the issue I have with these books is that nothing happens in them. Literally nothing. Nothing exciting, at least. The plot is just so mundane that I question how these books are so popular. I also question how on Earth these books are so long, and I figure it’s because they’re packed with so much detail and description.
Here’s a quick writing tip: description is important, for obvious reasons. But less is more, as long as that little bit of description you provide is rich enough to paint a picture. But when you go on and on about something, I personally lose interest. And I think a lot of readers do too.
The description of the forest and the town in my novella with Kellan Publishing, The Lerewood, is crucial to the book, probably more so than anything else. If I didn’t describe the town as filthy or the forest as rotten and decayed, it wouldn’t give the readers the same eerie mood as I’d intended.
The clearing was just as beautiful as he remembered. The sun was coming up and the trees were lit with green gold. They looked happy to be soaking in the rays of life, but sad that there was no rain to replenish their insufferable thirst. In the orange sunlight, Uallas could easily see their decay. Each leaf was surrounded by a sort of grey mold, a disease that seemed to be spreading, causing pain to every citizen from the communities in the trees. The plants were speckled in black, drooped from a heavy slime that covered them, and infested with worms that ate them alive, sucking their lives. The blood-red veins screamed from each leaf, bursting from torture.
-Excerpt from Chapter 8 of The Lerewood
Equally, description helps slow the pace as well as set the scene. I recently read a bit of another majorly popular author’s work, whose book is so fast paced—packed with action but lacking in any real description that makes you stop and think or appreciate the author’s vision—it was also a turn off for me. It can get overwhelming for new writers to remember all of the writing tips on the internet about description, among everything else. But the simplest advice I can give is this: use what you need in order to get your point across. Description isn’t always going to move your plot forward, but if you want to talk about your character’s long, silky black hair, do it with a clever sentence. Don’t give me a paragraph.
It’s all preference, of course; some readers, for whatever reason, like pages upon pages of description of someone’s hair. Others couldn’t care less about how many words you can use to describe a wooden chair and are only reading your thriller to see who the murderer is. Writer’s guides will also tell you that your genre can help you figure out how much to provide, as readers of different genres read for different reasons. Just…try to keep it somewhere in the middle. Or I’m most likely going to chuck your precious novel into a black hole.
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Welcome to Andrea's blog!
Here you can find news on The Lerewood and what I'm up to.