Archive for September 18th, 2010

Sep 18 2010

Please Don’t Flood Readers with Mundane Visual Details

I provide advice about how to write novels, comic books and graphic novels. Most of my content applies to fiction-writing in general, but I also provide articles specifically about superhero stories.

1. Everything in your story should advance the plot and/or develop something important about a character. Please don’t stall the story with irrelevant details.

 

2. 99% of the time, it doesn’t really matter whether a character’s eyes are blue or green or whether her hair is brown or blonde. However, such details could be used to create an impression that does affect the plot and/or characterization. For example, if you wanted to suggest that a character looked mysterious and perhaps a bit dangerous, maybe you’d say that her eyes were a smoky blue, whereas the villain’s eyes might be a sickly or poisonous green. Or you could use some aspect of a character’s appearance to create a mood for a particular scene.  In such cases, I would recommend introducing these details only as soon as they contribute something and not because you think readers are wondering what color the character’s eyes are. (Trust me, they aren’t*).

*Of all the hundreds or thousands of characters you’ve ever read about, how many have eye colors you can remember? Any?

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