Reading Habits (5): Too Much of a Good Thing

Anyone who writes knows that they tend to read in a much more analytical way.

One thing that I’ve noticed about my reading is that I don’t like too much description. If I come across a passage where someone is describing every single detail about a room, or all the different flowers in a bouquet, my eyes gloss over and I find I’ve lost my place. Some of the books I’ve read recently have taken whole paragraphs describing a location or a situation, or even more and I can’t bear it.

I know that there are plenty of people who like this kind of description, and each to their own, but it’s not for me.

I guess it’s a bit like not liking pictures of the main characters on the front of a book. I want to be able to imagine them in my own mind. If you tell me every last thing about them, by giving me a picture, what is there left to imagine? Or it’s like watching the film before you’ve read the book. Your mind is then coloured by what was on the screen.

It’s probably also why I don’t like writing description very much. I always find I have to go back and add it in amongst all the dialogue I write in my first draft.

How about you? Do you like a lot of description, or just the bare minimum so that you can make your own pictures?


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