Connected to last week’s—it’s one of the ways writing has changed. Books from a century or two ago spent huge swaths of text describing locations and character traits, but modern writing does all of this in shorthand. You might know a character is short with blond hair and blue eyes, but the author leaves the rest for you to figure out on your own. The writer might tell you the story takes place at a beachside town, but leaves the details to your imagination. Why do you suppose this is? Is it that we have shorter attention spans these days? That, bombarded with video and photos as we are, we don’t NEED every detail of an unknown scene described, because we have a stock of images already in our heads? – BTT
Writings styles have changed in the last one hundred years. Writers use to be written by word, and books did use to be one of the most popular sources of entertainment for those who could read. I also think there is some value in less descriptions in certain ways. There’s a change in how stories are told as well. The physical appearance of the characters are not necessarily as important as who they are and their journeys in the stories. Stream of counciousness or magical realism novels do not offer a lot in the way of physical images either, but perhaps they offer more emotional and intellectual imagery.
It’s not always the details we should worry about, and I can fill in the blank if the writer offers more important things to the story. I like character development, interactions, and plot points more than how the sun shines on the sand. Of course, it is lovely, but not always necessary.
My thoughts and feelings about descriptions have changed over the years, too. I like description, but less is more.
Here’s MY BTT POST
Hi Laurel! It really depends on a case by case basis, but I agree that less can be more. Thanks!
Writing is certainly different now than it was 100 years ago! I enjoy well-written descriptions but agree with you on character development – that’s just as important, if not more important.
Hi Tonia! Characters are some of the most important aspects to any story about me. If I don’t know them a bit, it’s difficult to enjoy the book. Thanks for commenting!
When I pick up a book, I want the writer to do all the describing. I want them to paint a picture for me so to speak.
Hi Joyful Reader! I like it when they can do that with as little as possible. They can paint the picture in various ways; it’s part of the fun. Thanks!
mary ann langan
I truly enjoy description in books, especially the classics.
Hi Mary Ann! Me too. It’s nice reading descriptions in the older styles. Have a good weekend!