Detailed Writing: How Much is too Much?

Details, details, details.  In life, we want details of everything so our plans run smoothly, but in writing, it just may be the opposite.

Readers love to be imaginative, to become engaged with a story of true love and daring actions.  If you told the reader exactly what your character looked like from their height, weight, hair, eyes, nose, and skin color, the magic is gone!  Give a few details to enable the reader to create a person in their head.  If the character has striking blue eyes and that is what ignited the love story, add it.

Don’t bombard readers with in depth back stories all at once either, slowly integrate the character’s past through memories and dialogue.  This way you have details that develop your character through out the book and leave your reader wanting to learn more about them.

Details are important when you are trying to create your own world.  Talk about the sun, plant life, and people, but not in such a way you lose the readers attention and they are grabbing their book mark.  Be sure to drop details of your world so a picture begins to form in your readers’ minds.  If they are being told what to see and imagine, they might just choose to read another story.  Be very careful of your details and do not take up a whole page to describe your characters surroundings!

Lastly, never lose intensity.  If your character is in a hand to hand fight, don’t get off track and start explaining everything.  A few key details are perfect in scenarios like this such as if the character is sweating, trembling, or dizzy.  Is it dark or light out?  Is the perp they are fighting against a scary stranger?

Keep your details simple and straight to the point.

“It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.” – John Wooden


Proverbs 21:21

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