When nothing is happening – Less is More

You’ve probably started to read a book and then just couldn’t finish it. I sure had plenty of those experiences.

One of the reasons why I put the book down is because nothing is happening.

The writer opens a scene with a beautiful description of the sunrise somewhere outside the town, then we go down the road and enter the town until we find a house, and someone is sleeping in the house and the detailed description goes on for (p)ages, while nothing actually happens.

These kinds of pointless descriptions sometimes feel like page fillers; a writer wasn’t able to dig deep into the story conflict and action, so she decided to give us a beautiful description of the landscape.

The description is beautiful and I can see really nice pictures in my mind’s eye, but the picture should be hung on the wall, not written in the book.

In writing, less is more.  If it doesn’t move the story forward, cut it, trash it, no matter how beautiful it is.

“In many cases when a reader puts a story aside because it ‘got boring,’ the boredom arose because the writer grew enchanted with his powers of description and lost sight of his priority, which is to keep the ball rolling.”

― Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft