Some authors are better than others at description. Some bring in loads of tedious details just to take up space, and others leave almost everything up to your imagination. Back when I read Great Expectations in high school, I learned that it’s packed with unnecessary descriptions because Dickens was paid by the word – so he made darn sure he got his money’s worth!
But the best authors can tell you only exactly as much as you want to know. I know that some people tend to skip the descriptive parts of a book, but I’ve always lingered over them, forming precise pictures in my mind. I like to know what everyone looks like!
Laura Ingalls Wilder, for example (the Little House books), does a great job of describing clothing. (more…)