Things I would/n’t want to read.

Occasionally, I find myself hesitating before I write something. I wonder if it’s too much description — or not enough description. If it fits. If it’s necessary. If the reader really needs to be bothered by it.

Generally, I think it depends on your writing style. If you write hyper-realistic stories, and that’s what your readers expect from you, then yeah, absolutely — write down every detail about your protagonist’s latest trip to the bathroom. Explain in loving detail how they brush their teeth (side to side? Up and down? Both?) Tell us which leg they stick into their pants first.

Me? I like to assume that if I say somebody got dressed, you’ve had sufficient experience with dressing yourself to know what the heck I mean. Unless it’s critical to the story, I don’t even care what you dress the character in. It’s your imagination. Go for it! When the big dude got dressed, maybe he put on a t-shirt and pants. Or maybe he put on a bathrobe and wandered around the city like that. Maybe he’s wearing a flowery peasant blouse and Capris. For the most part, I only worry about what they’re wearing if there’s a reason for it. Maybe the character needs to put on a tux, because I want to set a certain tone. Or maybe she needs to wear jeans, because she needs to have a specific type of pocket available later on — the kind you stick something in and then have a hell of a time getting it back out later on when something scary is bearing down on you and your life depends on getting that thing out of a pocket that’s way too damn tight, because damn tight jeans and their tight pockets…

I read this yesterday. You might have, too.

 

Ok, I have to admit it… part of me wants to read that book.

Migglesby slashed his wand through the air, nearly poking himself in the eye. His head snapped back just in time, but his foe was now smiling at him with amusement.

“Clearly, I am outmatched,” Vorpinski said, chuckling. He raised his twisted wand almost negligently, and with a casual flick of his wrist, he sent Migglesby’s wand flying out of his hand. It clattered onto the floor, and Migglesby stared at it with dismay. He’d never reach it in time, and he’d never mastered summoning spells. “Go on,” Vorpinski invited, his voice silky. “Go get it. I might let you succeed.” An odor wafted through the room as Vorpinski paused to drop a load of excrement onto the floor. “Ah, that’s better.” He lifted the hem of his robe and vanished the pile of feces with another flick of his wand. “Now, where were we?”

 

Umm. Never mind. I totally don’t want to read that book.

 

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Behold! My advanced method for keeping track of characters. In, uh, a house. Look, in my defense, it’s gotten a little tense in there, and they’ve been behaving unpredictably, so…

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