As part of my query and synopsis critique services, I sometimes look at the first five pages of a writer’s manuscript, looking for red flags and other problems that may result in a quick rejection. Invariably, I find problems with the level of description—the balance is off, and usually there’s too much time spent trying to evoke the setting in flowery terms or describe the protagonist’s physical features.
In the latest Glimmer Train bulletin, novelist Abby Geni offers 12 tips to help achieve the right balance and write good description in your work. She says:
Think in terms of “telling details”: details that let the reader see your characters while also revealing something about their minds. In this way, your descriptions can do double duty: giving the reader a physical picture while also showing an inner, mental trait.
She also recommends that you avoid a description of a character’s hair and eye color, as well as height and weight. Read the full post.
Also in this month’s Glimmer Train: