Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Pages of Prose or Action

Current Project:Spirit of the Sky
Status: Slowly perking along

Staring out my window trying to figure out what to write about for this post, I noticed the wheel line bouncing. Now I could say: The irrigation wheel line was bouncing in the cold winter air.
You kind of get the picture. But what if I said:

The frigid barely above zero air not only stung my cheeks and froze my lungs when I inhaled, it caused the aluminum pipe suspended between five foot aluminum wheels to vibrate. The bouncing aluminum blurred like heat vapors on hot blacktop, another one of nature's jokes.

The second one gives a better description of the wheel line and it helps you "feel" the cold.

When writing a story the first draft through it will be more like the first line then with each pass over I fine tune the descriptions and try to make them come to life in the eyes of the character whose POV I'm in.

Once in a while the first time through it is so vivid in my mind I can put down exactly what I'm seeing and it only needs minor tinkering.

But at the same time I don't go on and on for a whole paragraph about a description. I don't like reading long flowing descriptions and will skip them. But if there is a short well written description that brings me deeper into the story- I love it.

What about you? Do you like the long descriptions or do you prefer ones concise and to the point so you can move on to the action?


Genene Valleau said...

Hi, Paty!

I definitely agree with you on descriptions. Give me a short, vivid description so I'm pulled into the setting, then get on with the story.

Hmm...better check my stories to be sure I hit that balance of vivid description but not multiple paragraphs that drone on and on....

Sarah Raplee said...

I agree with you both. But also, make the description serve another function such as setting the tone, foreshadowing the action, or providing a marked contrast to the action in the scene, making that action more vivid in contrast.