rjcload – 2009-10-09 12:25 AM
Stephen King addresses the issue of being over descriptive in his book On Writing. The color of the table cloth may or may not be important. For me, the real issue is does the author have to tell me everything thereby squelching my own imagination? How about just telling me the basics and letting me fill in the minute details. Allowing me to furnish the kitchen with my own imagination would draw me in much further and the same goes for character description.
That’s right, of course. If the furniture is somewhat important to the story, by all means, tell me. But I have read too many novels where the author is giving me a full page of description of the entire place a scene is playing in, obviously serving no other purpose than filling a page. Other than having a weak plot to begin with (I don’t think anything can beat the annoyance of a story that never should have been written), over-description is the single biggest thing that can annoy me as a reader. It keeps the story from moving on and is killing my imagination.