fiction), how much do you like detailed descriptions and/or lists as part of the story? What if the story switches between detail and expediency?
Feel free to answer the question as asked or explore any of the expanded pondering for more targeted responses.
In moving mental obstacles out of the way of a story I've been writing for a long time, I've realised that some of what I need involves getting outside of my head more [previously: 1, 2]
. In this (hopefully last) question of the series, I crave input on how much detail is actually comfortable for readers AND if my custom of switching between approaches is potentially discombobulating.
One of my tendencies when writing is to be extremely detailed, as I want to build a vibrant, tangible impression of what is being encountered or experienced. But I don't use this inexorably - there are parts where flow of events would be hideously stymied and I switch to a more action-oriented, fill-in-the-blanks-yourself style.
Examples: I find the lists in Brian Jacques's Redwall
books endearing and sometimes amusing. I originally liked the incredible details in Ill-Made Mute
by Cecilia Dart-Thornton, but she seemed to abandon the more artful approach to it in the jump to the other books and it became tiresome. Martha Wells used description to great advantaqe in The Bone Palace
. Most know Bradbury's knack for loving and chilling details, and those are certainly part of my concept of the iconic ideal.
But getting through action and complex exchanges seems weighed down by such detail, so I move away from that. Maybe not so far as Hemingway, but certainly along the lines of Jack London. Thereabouts, anyway.
To boil it down:
Details/lists - like or dislike?
Is there an ideal that encapsulates your preference? Are there exceptions to your personal rules?
Mixing it up to further the story - preferable or disorienting?
Is there anyone who does this particularly well? Especially poorly?
Thanks to bongo_x for the comment that helped me summarise!