Register Guidelines E-Books Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   MobileRead Forums > E-Book General > Writers' Corner

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 08-20-2011, 06:03 PM   #1
carpetmojo
Wizard
carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 3,117
Karma: 9269999
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: UK
Device: Sony- T3, PRS650, 350, T1/2/3, Paperwhite, Fire 8.9,Samsung Tab S 10.5
Unhappy Too much detail !!

As a reader, a plea to new writers - please don't feel obliged to explain everything in great detail !

I've just finished reading a new ebook, by a newish author. I prefer not too name it, I simply bring this up as a possible tip from a reader for all new authors, if that's not too presumptious.

The idea was interesting, the characters fine. Not a ground-breaking piece by any means, but readable - if it weren't for the lengthy descriptions, at least one a chapter, of either equipment, technology, historical occurrance, famous dead person, inventor...oh, the list could go on.
And it all has to be explained in painfully minute detail, at great length, most of which has no bearing on the story in any way.

We know you do research, we know you are an expert in certain fields, we know how you see particular events/personages in history...God, do we ever.
I estimate nearly a fifth of the book is involved in explaining things totally needlessly.
And it's a trait I've noticed before in new writers.

If it doesn't move the story on - do we need it ? Pleaser, ALWAYS err on the side of "no we don't.......... "
carpetmojo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2011, 06:15 PM   #2
VydorScope
Wizard
VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
VydorScope's Avatar
 
Posts: 3,394
Karma: 35207650
Join Date: Jun 2011
Device: Kindle Fire HD 7
Just finished a book like that... and I agree. And I am a new author, but I was/am a avid reader so I had some clue before I started.
VydorScope is offline   Reply With Quote
Advert
Old 08-20-2011, 07:16 PM   #3
Eisengoth
Independent Author
Eisengoth can successfully navigate the Paris bus system.Eisengoth can successfully navigate the Paris bus system.Eisengoth can successfully navigate the Paris bus system.Eisengoth can successfully navigate the Paris bus system.Eisengoth can successfully navigate the Paris bus system.Eisengoth can successfully navigate the Paris bus system.Eisengoth can successfully navigate the Paris bus system.Eisengoth can successfully navigate the Paris bus system.Eisengoth can successfully navigate the Paris bus system.Eisengoth can successfully navigate the Paris bus system.Eisengoth can successfully navigate the Paris bus system.
 
Eisengoth's Avatar
 
Posts: 47
Karma: 36836
Join Date: Aug 2011
Device: Sony PRS-505
I read something like that recently as well. Thankfully, the core idea of the novel was strong enough that I was able to skim the infodumps and read through it to the good stuff... because the good stuff really was that good.

Yeah... save the infodumps for as late as you possibly can... and even then, if you can edit them so that they don't "dump" quite so much, you'll be much better off when pulling readers in. "As you know, Bob" really doesn't go over very well anymore.
Eisengoth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2011, 08:38 PM   #4
VydorScope
Wizard
VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
VydorScope's Avatar
 
Posts: 3,394
Karma: 35207650
Join Date: Jun 2011
Device: Kindle Fire HD 7
I try to leak information in bits and pieces. For example...

Some dude walked into a store, and he had to duck because his 8' 3" height was to tall for the standard 8' door frame.

as opposed to

As you may know ever since Doc Jackson the third invented the standard door frame which was made out of gopher wood in New Jersey on a rainy Thursday morning they have been precisely 96 inches tall because that was his 3rd wife's favorite number. This of course meant trouble for Some Dude who was a direct decedent of a harlem globe trotter which of course meant he was very tall. In fact he was at least 99 inches tall so that meant would have to duck down at least 4 inches.... blah.

(fee free to make a story out of that, and give me 10% of gross sales )
VydorScope is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2011, 09:18 PM   #5
crich70
Grand Sorcerer
crich70 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.crich70 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.crich70 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.crich70 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.crich70 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.crich70 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.crich70 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.crich70 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.crich70 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.crich70 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.crich70 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
crich70's Avatar
 
Posts: 10,699
Karma: 32913366
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Monroe Wisconsin
Device: K3, Kindle Paperwhite, Calibre, and Mobipocket for Pc (netbook)
Yep I've seen that bit of advice before myself. Sinclair Lewis is supposed to have read over an effort by a new writer and told them to throw the 1st 96 pages of their 100 pages away. When the young author protested that they had had to set the scene Mr. Lewis asked,'for 96 pages?' "If I want a history of the Azores," he said,"I'll get National Geographic." I stopped reading "The Valley of Horses" by Jean Auel because the story stopped moving while a history of the land began. Maybe someday I'll go back to it, but I'm sure I'll skip over a large chunk of text if I do. Story has to move forward and large chunks of data, however interesting, stop a story cold.
crich70 is offline   Reply With Quote
Advert
Old 08-20-2011, 09:46 PM   #6
bektamun
Member
bektamun knows what's going on.bektamun knows what's going on.bektamun knows what's going on.bektamun knows what's going on.bektamun knows what's going on.bektamun knows what's going on.bektamun knows what's going on.bektamun knows what's going on.bektamun knows what's going on.bektamun knows what's going on.bektamun knows what's going on.
 
bektamun's Avatar
 
Posts: 10
Karma: 25000
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Device: Kindle
The only author I've ever seen incorporate intricate detail without boring readers to death is Alexandre Dumas. All his works are extremely wordy. This is probably because his work, when first published, was serialised for newspaper and he was paid per word.

Having said that, his style of incorporating even the most mundane detail and keeping the story interesting is something most of us will likely never emulate.

Last edited by bektamun; 08-20-2011 at 09:47 PM. Reason: typo
bektamun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2011, 10:42 PM   #7
Red Alert
Zealot
Red Alert ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Red Alert ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Red Alert ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Red Alert ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Red Alert ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Red Alert ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Red Alert ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Red Alert ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Red Alert ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Red Alert ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Red Alert ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Red Alert's Avatar
 
Posts: 114
Karma: 1004314
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Silverdale, Washington
Device: NookColor & Nook Tablet. Sony PRS-505 loaned to brother.
*** " Some dude walked into a store, and he had to duck because his 8' 3" height was to tall for the..." ***

I bet you meant "too tall..."

I hate it that spell checkers don' t know the difference... ;-)
Red Alert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2011, 03:55 AM   #8
carpetmojo
Wizard
carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 3,117
Karma: 9269999
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: UK
Device: Sony- T3, PRS650, 350, T1/2/3, Paperwhite, Fire 8.9,Samsung Tab S 10.5
Wink Errr................

[QUOTE=VydorScope;1709918.........Some dude walked into a store, and he had to duck because his 8' 3" height was to tall for the standard 8' door frame... .......... ....[/QUOTE]

My apologies, but the ancient practice of "precis" at school always nudges me !

So, how about..

" An 8'3'' dude walked into a store, and had to duck because of the standard 8' door frame... "

I'm even doubtful about the "standard". I know, it is a bit anal, isn't it. Old habits ......................

[ 'course, it don't apply when I'm writing, only other people !! ]
carpetmojo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2011, 05:32 AM   #9
VydorScope
Wizard
VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
VydorScope's Avatar
 
Posts: 3,394
Karma: 35207650
Join Date: Jun 2011
Device: Kindle Fire HD 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by carpetmojo View Post
My apologies, but the ancient practice of "precis" at school always nudges me !

So, how about..

" An 8'3'' dude walked into a store, and had to duck because of the standard 8' door frame... "

I'm even doubtful about the "standard". I know, it is a bit anal, isn't it. Old habits ......................

[ 'course, it don't apply when I'm writing, only other people !! ]
Doors are usually 80" inches tall (82.75" for the rough opening), at least here in the US, but I was just having a little fun so 80 inches became 8 feet.
VydorScope is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2011, 06:38 AM   #10
carpetmojo
Wizard
carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 3,117
Karma: 9269999
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: UK
Device: Sony- T3, PRS650, 350, T1/2/3, Paperwhite, Fire 8.9,Samsung Tab S 10.5
Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by VydorScope View Post
Doors are usually 80" inches tall (82.75" for the rough opening), at least here in the US, but I was just having a little fun so 80 inches became 8 feet.
And don't you know it, someone would pick up on it, wouldn't they !
carpetmojo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2011, 07:13 AM   #11
VydorScope
Wizard
VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
VydorScope's Avatar
 
Posts: 3,394
Karma: 35207650
Join Date: Jun 2011
Device: Kindle Fire HD 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by carpetmojo View Post
And don't you know it, someone would pick up on it, wouldn't they !

There is no pickier crowd then those that frequent internet forums, thats for sure!
VydorScope is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2011, 07:07 PM   #12
apbschmitz
Lord of Frogtown
apbschmitz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.apbschmitz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.apbschmitz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.apbschmitz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.apbschmitz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.apbschmitz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.apbschmitz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.apbschmitz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.apbschmitz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.apbschmitz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.apbschmitz ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
apbschmitz's Avatar
 
Posts: 149
Karma: 1154748
Join Date: May 2011
Location: St. Paul MN
Device: Kindle
Then again, Moby Dick could serve as a whale-hunting manual — talk about detail! — but on the whole it seems to work. This is probably just one more area where it's tough to say anything categorical.
apbschmitz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2011, 07:50 PM   #13
crich70
Grand Sorcerer
crich70 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.crich70 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.crich70 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.crich70 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.crich70 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.crich70 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.crich70 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.crich70 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.crich70 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.crich70 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.crich70 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
crich70's Avatar
 
Posts: 10,699
Karma: 32913366
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Monroe Wisconsin
Device: K3, Kindle Paperwhite, Calibre, and Mobipocket for Pc (netbook)
Quote:
Originally Posted by apbschmitz View Post
Then again, Moby Dick could serve as a whale-hunting manual — talk about detail! — but on the whole it seems to work. This is probably just one more area where it's tough to say anything categorical.
True, and there is also James Michener who wrote a good many books with a lot of detail included. Just goes to prove that any rule of writing can be bent if the writer is skillful enough I guess.
crich70 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2011, 08:59 PM   #14
Marseille
Guru
Marseille ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Marseille ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Marseille ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Marseille ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Marseille ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Marseille ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Marseille ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Marseille ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Marseille ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Marseille ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Marseille ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Marseille's Avatar
 
Posts: 687
Karma: 5700000
Join Date: Dec 2009
Device: kindle
Quote:
Originally Posted by apbschmitz View Post
Then again, Moby Dick could serve as a whale-hunting manual — talk about detail! — but on the whole it seems to work. This is probably just one more area where it's tough to say anything categorical.
You beat me to it. I was going to cite Hawthorne myself, but there are many examples to go to. It's okay to be in love with your own voice so long as enough other people are too. Errr, at least it's okay in terms of market success.

I once read a critique from an editor complaining that too many writers had main characters with green eyes when green eyes aren't nearly so common in the general population. Sometimes, even among experts, the complaints that come out aren't actually a description of what is wrong with the work in question, but merely a sign that something is in fact wrong with it. And other times the experts are just flat wrong.
Marseille is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2011, 12:39 PM   #15
Penforhire
Wizard
Penforhire ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Penforhire ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Penforhire ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Penforhire ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Penforhire ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Penforhire ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Penforhire ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Penforhire ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Penforhire ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Penforhire ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Penforhire ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 2,226
Karma: 7145404
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Southern California
Device: Kindle Voyage & iPhone 7+
Infodumps are tricky. We all prefer to see details skillfully woven into dialog and action or otherwise distributed in a way to avoid drawing attention to it. Some authors do quite well up to a point and then step over the line. I happened to recently read John Scalzi's Old Man's War trilogy recently. I started off impressed with his weaving and then, at times, it fell on its face.
Penforhire is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Book Detail View DelSol9561 Calibre 2 04-29-2011 06:23 PM
Book detail configuration superanima Calibre 8 12-11-2010 03:35 AM
Book Detail Display Mitchll Calibre 9 11-27-2010 05:21 PM
Please help me choose.. (detail fyrogenesis Which one should I buy? 2 12-18-2009 03:50 PM
What detail of which book ruined it for you? RickyMaveety Lounge 74 06-19-2008 01:11 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:43 PM.


MobileRead.com is a privately owned, operated and funded community.