Bisky's Twitterling's Scribbles! discussion

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All Things Writing > The art of suggestion

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message 1: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
Do you like to describe all the gory bits...


Or leave it all to the reader's imagination?

Have you read a book that didn't explain enough, or explained too much? How would you have done it differently?


message 2: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 1053 comments Mod
Gory bits? Nah I prefer leaving that to the imagination of the readers.

As for too much or not enough, yes I have read both. Sometimes you need at least a little jump start to understand what's happening while other times, too much is well... too much.
Terry Goodkind is one that often goes a little too far in his descriptions. The images stays in your head for years and years. Some of his I can't forget even after more than 15 years. Yet I loved his books and would recommend them to about anyone as long as they are adults, but I would probably warn them first. :P
(view spoiler)


message 3: by J. David (new)

J. David Clarke (clarketacular) | 418 comments I'll usually describe just enough to give the image of what's happening and let their mind fill in the rest. There's a scene in chapter one of the book I'm writing where one character rips the heart out of another character's chest, and I debated how much I would write down. I ended up describing hand plunging in, withdrawing dripping blood, squeezing something in her fist, but I never used the word "heart" at all.


message 4: by Claire (new)

Claire (cycraw) | 278 comments @G.G, I was going to mention Terry Goodkind but wondered if I was the only one bothered by it, so I deleted my original post. But yes, some of his description sticks with you for... forever.


message 5: by Kamil (new)

Kamil | 187 comments Brent weeks.... I've been reading the night angel's trilogy and few times I was like"woah, too much detail"


message 6: by Brian (new)

Brian Basham (brianbasham) | 390 comments I like to leave it to the reader's imagination for the most part. They will usually cater what they imagine to the amount of gore they find acceptable. The only exception is if you are trying to establish how evil the antagonist is or shock the audience.


message 7: by Jevon (new)

Jevon Knights (jevonknights) | 46 comments I personally don't like too much gore so I don't describe all the details, but I'm into fantasy. I'm guessing a horror fan might be more into it.


message 8: by David (new)

David Grindberg | 28 comments Reading through these posts, it appears that there are several ways to skin this cat (no gore intended). Some of you have mentioned Goodkind and your right. He's over the top and effective. If I were to write gore, and I haven't, I'd probably go for the suggestion of blood, guts, violence, etc and let the power of subtlety work on the reader.


message 9: by Anthony (new)

Anthony Thorogood (tonythorogood) Writers often go into far too much detail because they are going for word count rather than writing a good book.


message 10: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
I think it can also be what mood I'm in to what I want to read. Sometimes I want to roll around in a large hugely descriptive scene. Other times I just want the fight to happen faster.


message 11: by David (new)

David Grindberg | 28 comments I really think we need that "Amen" button. I agree, Ann.


message 12: by M.J. (new)

M.J. Mallon (kyrosmagica) | 26 comments If the detail has a purpose then its ok. Otherwise it can just be irritating and slow down the story.


message 13: by Carl (new)

Carl | 424 comments I wrote an ms. that I thought would be grim and feel real. Then I read the first GoT. *sigh*


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