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#385032 - 03/02/08 10:54 AM Descriptions...
Phyllis Doyle Burns Offline
Highest Posting Power Known to Humanity

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 17644
Loc: Reno, NV
When reading or writing fiction, do you like detailed descriptions of clothing and interiors of houses/rooms the character are in?

I like enough description to help me visualize the scene and the people involved. To me it gives the characters more reality.
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Walk in Peace and Harmony.
Phyllis Doyle Burns
Avatar: Fair Helena by Rackham, Public Domain

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#385042 - 03/02/08 10:59 AM Re: Descriptions... [Re: Phyllis Doyle Burns]
Robin Crime Editor Offline
Gecko

Registered: 01/30/08
Posts: 647
I do not want it to be totally detailed - just enough to let me inmagine what color the rooms might be, or imagine the wallpaper, etc.

On clothing - I want to use mostly my imagination. It is enough for me to read...."a lovely yellow floor length gown". It is now up to me to decide what color yellow, if there was any ornamentation on it, etc.

Now, if it is important to the plot, okay - then I have to go with what the author says.
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#385047 - 03/02/08 11:06 AM Re: Descriptions... [Re: Robin Crime Editor]
Phyllis Doyle Burns Offline
Highest Posting Power Known to Humanity

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 17644
Loc: Reno, NV
I agree with you, Robin. I like just enough description to help me set the scene/person in my mind, then leave the rest to my own imagination.
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Walk in Peace and Harmony.
Phyllis Doyle Burns
Avatar: Fair Helena by Rackham, Public Domain

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#385100 - 03/02/08 11:59 AM Re: Descriptions... [Re: Phyllis Doyle Burns]
BellaShorts Offline
Chipmunk

Registered: 10/26/07
Posts: 1519
Loc: England
I like it when the author weaves the dialogue/action into the landscape very closely but almost imperceptibly like some of the Classic novels. These I can read over and over.

Have either of you tried any different methods for this ?- I usually find walking helps.
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#385102 - 03/02/08 12:02 PM Re: Descriptions... [Re: BellaShorts]
Phyllis Doyle Burns Offline
Highest Posting Power Known to Humanity

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 17644
Loc: Reno, NV
Walking and looking thru old history books or fashion catalogs, like the Victorian age or the Gody fashions always helps me.
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Walk in Peace and Harmony.
Phyllis Doyle Burns
Avatar: Fair Helena by Rackham, Public Domain

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#385176 - 03/02/08 01:13 PM Re: Descriptions... [Re: Phyllis Doyle Burns]
BellaShorts Offline
Chipmunk

Registered: 10/26/07
Posts: 1519
Loc: England
Yes - history books and old newspapers are wonderful sources of inspiration.

We need them too, as its difficult for us to write descriptions of times past,interiors etc.
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#385208 - 03/02/08 02:04 PM Re: Descriptions... [Re: BellaShorts]
elle Offline
Koala

Registered: 10/11/05
Posts: 2966
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Hi, I'm back!

Description is a very individual component of a writer's style, so what works for one writer may fall down for another. But it is worth remembering that your reader has involvement in your story too - you need to be quite careful how you introduce description; if it comes too late it can jar a reader who has already decided that the room looks one way while you've just broken that impression with a different description to what they had imagined.

Here are some articles on description you might find helpful:
Setting the scene
Describing actions and behaviour
Describing your characters
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#385220 - 03/02/08 02:28 PM Re: Descriptions... [Re: elle]
Phyllis Doyle Burns Offline
Highest Posting Power Known to Humanity

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 17644
Loc: Reno, NV
Hi Elle, welcome back! You are right. If you get your descriptions in before the reader forms their own it is best. I often have an image of a character then the author later on decides to put in a description that is not at all what I had in mind and I lose interest in the story.
_________________________
Walk in Peace and Harmony.
Phyllis Doyle Burns
Avatar: Fair Helena by Rackham, Public Domain

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#385231 - 03/02/08 02:52 PM Re: Descriptions... [Re: Phyllis Doyle Burns]
BellaShorts Offline
Chipmunk

Registered: 10/26/07
Posts: 1519
Loc: England
elle ! - bonza !! (Is that what they say?) Didn't know you were back! Welcome back! Good to see you here again!

PS Just read 'Setting the Scene' which was very helpful - I agree with your point about TV - even Dickens was criticised for superfluous descriptive passages LOL!


Edited by BellaShorts (03/02/08 02:58 PM)
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#387641 - 03/05/08 11:54 AM Re: Descriptions... [Re: BellaShorts]
Phyllis Doyle Burns Offline
Highest Posting Power Known to Humanity

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 17644
Loc: Reno, NV
In books about olden days, especially Victorian, I like detailed descriptions on the women's fashion, like the gown she is wearing. In Gone With The Wind, Mitchell put in very vivid descriptions of the gownns Scarlett wore. It really gave me a clear image of Scarlett at that moment.
_________________________
Walk in Peace and Harmony.
Phyllis Doyle Burns
Avatar: Fair Helena by Rackham, Public Domain

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