Now I want to but I’m just gonna leave WP for a few hours and hopefully this will be buried by the time I come back.
This wil be in the set-up part if it works out so it won’t be too much of a problem if you read but since this is first draft for TK, everything is prone to change. I thought you would want to read the story when it’s done, that’s why I said that.
The thing about any writing is that you need to put something where it needs to go. Imagine it like building a bridge. All the pieces need to hold up the weight or else it will collapse.
I have noticed that less skillful writers tend to over describe, which gets tedious. But less skillful writers like myself tend to under describe, which makes the text confusing or too vague to be interesting. So it’s a balancing act, and like the whole craft, to put in the necessary parts and leave out the unnecessary ones.
Your sample text is an action scene, so glossing over details is not a bad idea because it keeps the pace up. Makes for a more exiting read.
That said, you could improve things. For example, you don’t get much description of the quarry, the spirit of the prostitute. What does she look like? What does a spirit running down the street look like? Similar questions could be asked of the mc and this spirit animal thing, but I’m going to assume they’ve been adequately described earlier in the story. I could be wrong.
On the other hand, you have the following:
We dodge drunk people, laughing people, crying people as we make our way through the street.
I literally tripped on this line as you took the time to describe the people the focus of the action is speeding past. We have three characters running down the street. Everything else is a blur.
This is my take on it. I hope this helps.
Should it be a blur or not?
Well, not a literal blur, but less detail on the surroundings will serve you better. It is a balancing act and resolved by trial and error.
You can add details as they become relevant. You could flesh out a little what the red light district looks like in this world, for instance.
I wish I could give better direction than that, but I’m terrible at adequately describing my scenes. You have to re-read your work and figure out where it’s too much and where it’s not enough. Beta readers can be a big help in this.
Okay, thank you.
When you get a chance, read Stephen King’s “On Writing” . He basically says, in order to get a feel for good descriptions and where to place them, you need to read a lot of books. It’s a learned skill.
Ask yourself whenever you’re writing, “What do I want the reader to experience from this description?” and work your way from there. Keep in mind, when writing descriptions, it’s a matter of how to and how much to. Reading a lot of books will help you with that, and a lot of writing will develop the feel for it.
I did read a lot of books until now but it wasn’t enough, I guess. Oh well, I love reading anyways.
This really helps, thanks.
I disagree. I think this is fine, only the word “people” is overused. It would read better as “We passed drunk, laughing, crying people” or “We passed people who were drunk, laughing or crying”. JMO.
You’re welcome my friend.
I don’t think this particular excerpt requires any descriptions you haven’t already given, but if you want to, you could always add them of course. I wouldn’t make them too long, though, because they would only interrupt the action going on. That being said, don’t add any descriptions that don’t add to the situation or story, only describe the things that you feel are important for the readers to know. And I really feel you have already done so for this scene.
Thank you, I still added some stuff but they’re not too long, like you say.
bump for the new question