Tip 5: Allow your readers to form a mental picture of your story by including plenty of detail

by richard on March 17, 2011

words 300x224 Tip 5: Allow your readers to form a mental picture of your story by including plenty of detail
This post relates to my blog series on the top ten tips to writing a novel. Visit my archives to see the full list, and other relevant postings.

I believe one of the great joys of writing is that you can create a world exactly how you want it to be. When you do so, you need to remember to get it out of your head, and on to paper, so your readers can share that world with you.

Readers love to be lead on a journey, so you need to give them the detail to be able to do that. You need to be able to describe your characters, their feelings, their surrounds, etc. in enough detail so the reader can experience your world as you see it.

A word of caution though. Don’t get caught up in long-winded, flowery descriptions of this world. You need to be careful, and work it in bit by bit – not in one great lump. Descriptions tend to slow down the forward motion of a story, and if you use too much, you can bring your story to a grinding halt.

Consider the technique of having your characters tell your readers things about your world. They can comment on the inclement weather, or the wonderful chandelier in the entrance, rather than have you describe it. Your reader still gets the message, just in another format. By having your character comment on things, you also help develop the personality of your characters.

Richard Jagger formerly worked in the biotechnology industry, and has completed his first novel “The Cure”. Apart from writing his second novel, he works as a professional photographer. He has had two solo photographic exhibitions and one joint painting exhibition. Further information can be found at www.richardjagger.com

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