Thursday, October 13, 2011

Blog Hop Thursday

This week's question comes from author, Amy Romine

QUESTION: Character physical descriptions, do you like a lot or a little? How do you make sure your readers see your character they way you want them to? 

What a great question, Amy.  I really lose patience with authors who go overboard with descriptions.  Depending on whose POV you're in should guide you.  Readers like enough information to get a visual image of the character or locale, but if you're in the heroes POV, it's very doubtful he's going to make note of the lace cuffs, pearl buttons, and pattern of a woman's dress.  I edited for a time and tried working with a new author who just didn't get "it".  He wanted to describe every single tree on the property, tell the reader what was in every drawer in the kitchen, and add needless information that did nothing to move the story forward.  I explained the drawers were only important if the heroine moved to one, opened it and withdrew something, or if the tree outside her window cast a shadow that hid the sun, or held a singing bird that woke her.  There is a purpose to descriptions and, as I said, if they aren't helping put the reader into the story, they should be propelling the plot to the next scene or bringing things to a satisfying with a final kiss.

Check out  An_Alternative Read for more fun like Blog Hop Thursday.  I was the first to sign up this week, so hopefully you'll find more links.  I always find the questions to be thought provoking and give me an opportunity to share my opinion.  Remember, what you read is generally just one person's opinion, and here, they're mine.  *smile*


Anonymous said...

So true, Ginger. One can so easily go overboard when describing - and do we really need to know everything? lol Nope!

Here's my answer to today's #BlogHop4Writers Question!

Hope you don't mind, but I am adding a link to your blog from mine :)

Enjoy your day, Ginger!


Sharon M.Bidwell said...

Definitely agree. You really want to give a reader an overall impression, rather than focus on the little details. Save that and only use if a little detail is very import to the story. Here's my answer:

Megan Johns said...

Wise words, as ever, Ginger

Anonymous said...

That's such an excellent point about POV, and what details matter to the character actually doing the looking.
Here's my answer:

diannehartsock said...

I agree! Who cares if they're feeding the fish if it has nothing to do with the story? I find myself skimming through lots of paragraphs because of too much description. Nice answer!

Lisabet Sarai said...

Hi, Ginger,

When I read, I rarely have a strong visual impression of a character. When I write, I actually have to force myself to provide physical descriptions - though I do tend to spend a lot of time describing the environment, in order to set the mood (as well as to provide critical details about the scene of the action).

For more on my perspective, you might want to check out the article on description in the For Authors section of my website.

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