Introducing…The Write Way…

I’ve decided to ask a question about once a week or so on readers and writers opinions on…well, reading and writing. This little nugget will be called “The Write Way…”

So my question this week is one  that I debate over. Me – I am not a fan of Steinbeck…especially the Grapes of Wrath. I will admit this proudly and happily. What is the reason you ask? Well, I will tell you…it’s the description. Mind-numbing, long, drawn-out description. Now, to each his own. But this begs the question….

In your opinion, What is the Write Way for [good] Description? Short and Sweet? Or Long and Wordy?

Read the Grapes of Wrath or I will put this cigarette out on your face.

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    July 16, 2010 at 5:22 am

    Julia, I always go with Short and Sweet on the descriptions. Many a book I tried to start and couldn’t get through the first page because it was long drawn out descriptions. You always seem to have a grabber right up front that gets my attention. Very cool. Martha

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    July 17, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    I believe that there has to be a harmonious marriage between the two. As a writer, your job is not to bore readers to death with long, drawn-out descriptions (as I whole-heartedly agree with you that Steinbeck does just that). I think when writers do this, it sort of amputates a readers’ ability to use their imagination. On the flipside, you don’t want every single line to be short & sweet; otherwise, I think the writing becomes too blunt. So….conclusion: I feel that readers need to be given description in order to draw them in & point in the right direction-that is the perfect time to then shorten it up, leaving the rest to the readers’ imagination (which is what I feel your writing does ; ) That is how writing should be: it should make you think & interpret.

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      July 18, 2010 at 1:05 am

      I never even finished the Grapes of Wrath. I meant to, but my boyfriend was in the same class and was a slacker, so alas. Ultimately, the book SHOULD be descriptive to set the scene and the mood, but not so much so that it is a burden to finish (or carry around). Some really long books, I find I wish were longer, and some short stories seem too long.

      I guess it matters more about quality, than quantity.

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    July 23, 2010 at 2:24 am

    Thanks to all who answered “The Write Way” question!

    It’s interesting to see the various takes from readers and everyones own personal experiences.

    Overall, what probably matters is how good the description is at hooking you. Not how long or short…

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