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Writing means different things to me. I'm a storyteller, a book editor, and a songwriter. For me, it's like breathing.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

In Fiction: What Happened to Lengthy Descriptions?

I remember reading thick, five hundred page novels filled with lengthy descriptions that transported the reader to another time or place. The descriptions created the right atmosphere to forget about everything else except the story. I would be enthralled by an exotic location, or glass blowing in ancient Crete and even the art of blacksmithing. Cool stuff, those descriptions. But they seem to be passé in the writing world.
Lately, I have noticed that stories are filled with lots of action and short sentences that move the story along, but leave me feeling jolted, as if I just got off a wild, but short roller coaster ride.

I wonder if this has to do with our society today and how everything moves at such a fast speed. Maybe people just want the meat of the story and the action, but want to pass on all the descriptions because they don’t have time to read a long novel. Another thought I had was that with the rise of ebooks, it seems that ebook readers prefer to read shorter, action-packed stories. In today’s fiction, is there room for lengthy descriptions?
While reading a fast-paced story might appeal to some readers, I still prefer the lengthy descriptions. I want to get lost in a story for an hour or two a day for a couple of weeks, not for only thirty minutes a day for two days. I want to languish in the story and reflect on the characters, not feel like I barely met the characters.
I hope there are still readers and authors that enjoy a longer, descriptive story. I can’t think of anything that’s better for calming a hurried mind except getting lost for a while in a good book.
Kelley Heckart
'Timeless tales of romance, conflict & magic'

Sunday, May 01, 2011