What’s the bet at least one of you yawned then?! Well, at least get it out of the way now before you go and read my glorious post (ok ok, it was a challenge to include the word ‘glorious’, I’m really not that vain).
When you’re reading a book, how many times do you think you yawned? Once, twice, maybe more times than you could count? Or never?
Now think about what that book was. An exciting book, with lots of action, or a really boring book that was just full of pages and pages of description?
There’s a line between being descriptive and being boring when writing.
Describing a place can mean a sentence or two about it, in detail but short, and with a few awesome words to spice it up. Making a place boring is when you go on and on and on about it, as if your readers are stupid so you just keep repeating yourself over and over and over and over and…you get the picture.
Your readers want the story to go on, not to grind to a halt whilst you describe your setting in one load! If a lot of detail is needed, try and space it out – use shorter sentences to keep your readers attention, or mix it into the action so your readers can create a mental map of the area in their heads. Hell, even put a map in the front of the book so you don’t have to do too much when you actually get writing – especially if you’re writing over a big area, like the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Basically, what I’m trying to say is, unless it’s a descriptive writing essay for school, don’t info dump on your readers – their minds won’t be able to take that and the action at the same time!
Also, extra tip: try not to write the word ‘yawned’ in the middle of loads of description – as your readers will yawn, and this will take them out of the story, and they may not want to go back!
– Hannah (I do know I only sign my name on some of these, I think I should probably start doing it more…)
Oh, and by the way, this was how many times I yawned whilst writing this post: 13. I think it’s cause I’m in a room on my own with no one to pass it on to…