What kind of a writer are you?
By that I mean what’s your style? Plain and simple? Fast or slow? Or are you the flowery and exotic type?
All the above have their merits, however the trick lies in not overdoing it. For example, if you over-describe, going into every little detail, it will slow the narrative right down to the point where it grinds to a halt and the reader loses interest.
The same can be said if the plot races along at the speed of light, jumping from one scenario to the next, not allowing the reader the time or space to absorb what’s going on. When I first drafted Land of Midnight Days, this was exactly the feedback I got from my writing group. It was too fast paced, with over the top description and jumped from one scene to the next like a kangaroo on steroids 🙂 In fact one member said it gave her a headache!
My other mistake was using long words, when a simpler alternative would have sufficed. Adverbs and adjectives abounded, making it virtually unreadable.
So where did all this wordiness and tendency towards over-elaborate descriptions come from? Well, other writers, believe it or not. I was influenced by books I’d read when I was younger, not realising that writing styles change over the generations. Back in the day it was fine to write reams of description and change point of view at the drop of a hat. Today, a single point of view, tight narrative and dialogue are the current vogue and I have to say that I prefer it that way. It makes for a smoother and more cohesive read.
Of course writing trends could change again, and I may have to rethink my writing style once more, but as writers we should always be willing to learn and adapt. After all that’s what creativity is about, isn’t it? We should all be able to adapt, grow and evolve 🙂