Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Reader as Sensory Participant

“Description is what makes the reader a sensory participant in the story.” -- Stephen King in On Writing.
I mentioned in an earlier post that writing dialog is one of my strengths. Description falls at the opposite end of the spectrum. In my early writing, some critiquers felt I included too much description. In more recent stories, the opposite has been true. I need to find a balance when writing short-short stories.

I wrote the first and second (and third?) drafts of a story over the last two days. I have the plot figured out -- finally! The dialog needs a little tweaking, but is very close to done. The descriptions, on the other hand, need work, both for the two characters and the setting. I’m going to spend some time this morning reading published flash stories, specifically to see how the authors handle descriptions in their stories. I’ll let what I learn percolate for the rest of the day and begin the next rewrite tomorrow. My goal is to submit the story to my critique group this weekend.

1 comment:

Koala Bear Writer said...

Funny how great description is one of those things you don't really notice, but bad description just jumps off the page at you. Love your idea of reading published stories to see how other authors handle it--that's something I often do! :)