To describe or not to describe? That is the question.

My personal opinion?

Say what you have to say in as few words as possible.

I’m not a big fan of flowery language in modern literature.

Flowers are fine for Shakespeare and Emily Bronte. Homer can be a bit wordy, but then his stuff is really old. As is Flavius Josephus. He’s kinda hard to get through. He’s relating factual history as he knows it, but his language is pretty stuffy by our standards. I’m sure his contemporaries understood it just fine.

What makes me DNF a book? Too much description. Too many unnecessary details. Unless it is essential to the story I don’t need a detailed description of, say, a desk. If a particular desk is integral to the story, well then yes, by all means provide a detailed description. If it’s just a desk, then it’s just a desk.

I don’t need to hear an endless recitation of the beauty, depth, color, or whatever of the heroines eyes.

Think of Brendan Fraser. Think of Brendan Fraser as The Most Sensitive Man in the World. (Bedazzled.) You get my drift. He’s too much.

What is essential to the story. That’s all I need. Use your words sparingly and if you use them right, you can make beautiful metaphors out of scarcity.

Haiku is the simplest most beautiful form of poetry, IMO. There is value in spare.

In the cicada’s cry
No sign can foretell
How soon it must die.

– Matsuo Bashō

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juliabarrett

I am an author of fiction and nonfiction.