1. Neidermeyer
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    Neidermeyer Active Member

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    Over description of a chapter

    Discussion in 'Support & Feedback' started by Neidermeyer, Dec 24, 2007.

    I have received some very valuable critiques on a novel I am working on, for which I am very thankful. In these, some people had mentioned that the wordiness of the first chapter might push the reader away. My question is, if the prologue is full of dialogue and action, is it ok for the first chapter to be somewhat initially descriptive? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Heather Louise
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    Heather Louise Contributing Member Contributor

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    For a start off, I think this thread is in the wrong place, it should be in one of the writing issues forums. If you ask a mod to move it for you, I am sure they would. :)

    In answer to your question, description is always good, I really love it. I like reading a peice and it spends a while, maybe a few pages, giving you a really good feeling of the place. However, there are two things with this. First thing, the description must be exceptional if you want that much in. and sometimes, if you add too much in you find you are just repeating yourself just wording it differently, which looses some of the effect.

    Secondly, some people hate description. I know my dad likes it when the book it straight to the point with as little detail as possible. So it depends what sort of audience you are aiming for aswell. If you are writing an action peice, or the chapter you are writing is full of action, I think it is best if you do not try to cram lots of detail in with that as it destracts the reader from what is going on, so keep it to a minimum there. However, if you are writing a romance for instanc, and you are sitting on the beach with your love, here would be a perfect time to insert loads of decription about everything, as that seems like the type of place the charector would actually be noticing the detail.

    That is the other thing, only really mention detail that the charector themselves are noticing. If they are rushing past they will not see the tiny crack in the ceiling for instance, and if they are sitting around with all the time in the world, they might see it.


    Above all, put enough description in so that you are happy with your peice as sometimes that is just as important. I hope this all helps you,
    Heather
     
  3. Charisma
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    Charisma Transposon Contributor

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    Firstly, this is in the wrong board. This should go in the Writing Issues.

    Secondly, as far as the answer is concerned, it depends on yoru audience, the people you wish to attract towards your reading. If it is a Sci-fi novel or something like that, a wordy beginning should not be troublesome. On the contrary, if it is a teen romance novel you should look into an easier comprehension for the reader. I myself have had this problem but I believe that look at J.K. Rowling. Her beginnings can put someone off easily, but here she is, successful as ever. So don't sweat and just try to keep a balance in the wordiness.
     
  4. Neidermeyer
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    Neidermeyer Active Member

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    I just sent a message to Hulls Raven, so we should be good on that. lol

    Also, thanks for the advice. My gut told me it would be ok, as the prologue sets up an action sequence to be more thoroughly explained as the story progresses. The beginning of the first chapter is used to set up the area so the reader can visualize it.

    Prologue. Writing Forums

    Chapter 1. Writing Forums

    These are of course not polished yet, but it is the direction I am going. I really do appreciate ya'll taking the time to answer my questions for me.
     
  5. missupernatural
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    missupernatural Member

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    If every sentence has a use in setting the scene and moves the story along then it should be fine. However, try re writing if you have the following:

    *You're describing EVERYTHING in the scene - the cat standing 3 blocks away that never comes into the story ever again shouldn't be mentioned at all.

    However, if that cat plays some role in the future of the story, make sure you include it (foreshadowing).

    *You're just listing off as many adjectives as you possibly can to try and "show" the reader.

    *Reading it through, you notice it doesn't flow (the pacing isn't right).

    *You're leaving no detail to the imagination.
     

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