Don’t Show Too Much

“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”
―Stephen King

In an earlier Blog post, I told you that to show and not to tell, and you need to be specific.

That’s true. The more you replace blanket statements with specific detail, the more you’ll immerse your readers in the scene.

However, on the other hand, you don’t need to describe everything. Including too much detail will distract your readers and derail the pace of your story. It could even make it more difficult for your readers to envision the scene in their minds—there won’t be any gaps for them to fill with their imagination.

If you were in the scene you’re writing, what remarkable details would you notice? So include those in your story.

Mention distinctive features of your character’s appearance. Describe vital aspects of the room in which your scene is taking place.

Leave the unimportant things to your readers’ imagination. As describing too much could turn us underwriters into overwriters, and the editing process would still be on the full side of things.

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