Saturday, July 30, 2011

Chrome vs. Sheetmetal

I have been thinking about description and stylistic prose in novels, and
along these lines, when less is more. Books that use simpler language and
sentence structure seem to have a few clear advantages. First, you can read them
really quickly. Second, the details that are omitted tend to get filled in by the reader's imagination, provided the author gives the reader some type of mental hook to draw their mind's eye into the story. There is a place for this type of writing.

For better or worse though, I have chosen to write more descriptively. Or, perhaps
it isn't a choice as much as an intinsic style. But for my next novel, I have
made a choice to keep the more descriptive portions of my writing to a
relative minimum. I think this is a good choice, because like any
superlative, the detailed descriptions will be made more striking by comparison to the more conventional writing that they will contrast with.

I think the risk of using a simpler writing style is that your scenes might start to seem cliche to the reader. If an author describes a city of elves the reader will probably be able to imagine that, but chances are that it will be a kind of mental pop art stand-in prop rather than a fleshed out and unique locale in the author's
fantasy universe. And that lack of detail detail could hamper the reader's ability to suspend disbelief for other parts of the story.

It's a wonder that authors write at all, given all of these dangers {wink}. But, I guess the editing process is often used to address these types of issues. We indie authors do edit, right? {wink}{wink}

On a personal note: ARGH! I haven't been writing much in the past week. I hope to make amends for this tomorrow.

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