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View Full Version : Description in Fanfictions overated?


asher_son_of_ash
November 9th, 2004, 11:14 AM
Recently, while reading some fanfictions in SPPF and here in PC, most members review the authors and demand more description in their 'posts of pleasure'. I mean having too much description can be overly boring and you might be lost in things due to big paragraphs of description. And while having poor description at least people can find some sense and won't be COMPLETELY lost in the story. X_x;

Sorry all you people. But I know and like description as much as the next person, but at least people who review fic's shouldn't demand so much description unless they might have something that annoys the them and such. I know description is important but so is the entertainment taken from reading a fic.

Claire
November 9th, 2004, 11:25 AM
Personally, i can't get into a fanfic unless there are a lot of details -makes me feel as though im there
Details in order to enrich the environment of the story are what make books good.
People wouldnt ask for more detail from a fanfic if it already had enough ^^;

..i dont think you should write "over desciption" since a lot of description isnt necessarily too much O.o just chage it to "a lot of description"....otherwise you've already decided there's too much before ppl have even voted..

Isaac Gravity
November 9th, 2004, 11:29 AM
Over descriptive eh? I alwasy figured stuff like that can't be helped since the writer is struggling to word the situation as best as possible. But then they may have another liner they want to shove in there and they sometimes combine it while still keeping it in there. It's all how you see it that makes it good or not.
Description is description no other way around it.

asher_son_of_ash
November 9th, 2004, 12:00 PM
Personally, i can't get into a fanfic unless there are a lot of details -makes me feel as though im there
Details in order to enrich the environment of the story are what make books good.

Script fics |(You know those fic's where things go 'Name: Wow. This place is awesome')| also provide an enviroment fit for a reader. x-X; I

People wouldnt ask for more detail from a fanfic if it already had enough ^^;

Yes, but some people also give out a flat out 'give more description' review...

Over descriptive eh? I alwasy figured stuff like that can't be helped since the writer is struggling to word the situation as best as possible. But then they may have another liner they want to shove in there and they sometimes combine it while still keeping it in there. It's all how you see it that makes it good or not.
Description is discription no other way around it.

The writer sometimes does that, but finds a new way to add it up. Besides adding a new line is rare in authors. x_X; Mostly it's just delete and then write again.

Claire
November 9th, 2004, 12:09 PM
If all the criticisms just state "add more detail" then it's probably because there isnt enough detail to review.
Saying "wow! this place is awesome" you think..why is it awesome? tell me about the landscape he's looking at. Otherwise, ou can't get involved and the story lacks depth.

Again, I would change that "over-description" option to just "a lot of description"

asher_son_of_ash
November 9th, 2004, 12:29 PM
x_x; I don't think I have the option to change the question in my poll. This might need a higher position in the staff. o.o;

Now, back on the 'proper topic' you question me on a sentence that I merely said for an example. Here's description that could make it awesome.

"Amazing was the place where (insert name) was looking at from the cliff. The scenic background of the area was astounding in many ways. The grass looked like a sea of green and the trees swayed gently with the winds."

That example seemed like any sort of description that is literally boring.

"The scenic background from above the cliff was amazing as [name] looked down to the wonderful rice fields. He breathed in the air and took out a pokegear."

That new example provided action that the above was missing. That proves that people tend to describe more than provide the action without meaning to. Action and description go together but most people see this as a disturbance and ask more detail and then that's where things go boring. The author forces him or herself to be liked by the readers. Unfortunately, the author goes overboard...

Lily
November 9th, 2004, 12:47 PM
Recently, while reading some fanfictions in SPPF and here in PC, most members review the authors and demand more description in their 'posts of pleasure'. I mean having too much description can be overly boring and you might be lost in things due to big paragraphs of description. And while having poor description at least people can find some sense and won't be COMPLETELY lost in the story. X_x;

Sorry all you people. But I know and like description as much as the next person, but at least people who review fic's shouldn't demand so much description unless they might have something that annoys the them and such. I know description is important but so is the entertainment taken from reading a fic.

Yes, for certain fanfics it is a necessity for descriptions...I mean, short, simple sentences aren't in terms of compromising with the readers. But, too much descriptions and make the paragraphs a little raw and overrated. I love descriptions personally, but not overdone with them. Who likes stories with nothing but descriptions? If you're describing a specific thing, then fine descriptions are perfectly okay. I guess it differs on the readers' taste.

Yes, people shouldn't demand more descriptions. XD Just keep them at level, not too much or not too less, and it should be okay. Too much isn't a crime, but it can get tedious, boring, agreeable to 'certain' people, or some just can't go along with it. Too less...well, majority doesn't like it. ._.;

Isaac Gravity
November 9th, 2004, 01:23 PM
x_x; I don't think I have the option to change the question in my poll. This might need a higher position in the staff. o.o;

Now, back on the 'proper topic' you question me on a sentence that I merely said for an example. Here's description that could make it awesome.

"Amazing was the place where (insert name) was looking at from the cliff. The scenic background of the area was astounding in many ways. The grass looked like a sea of green and the trees swayed gently with the winds."

That example seemed like any sort of description that is literally boring.

"The scenic background from above the cliff was amazing as [name] looked down to the wonderful rice fields. He breathed in the air and took out a pokegear."

That new example provided action that the above was missing. That proves that people tend to describe more than provide the action without meaning to. Action and description go together but most people see this as a disturbance and ask more detail and then that's where things go boring. The author forces him or herself to be liked by the readers. Unfortunately, the author goes overboard...

Hmm. Well that author isn't being too true to him or herself or format then... I don't like doing stuff like that. I just do what I gotta do the way I want it to be done. But that's just me.

Anyway, from your comparision of those two paragraphs I came to my very bothersome conclusion: Depending on the story or situation at hand either paragraph should suffice. Why?: Let's say the said person who wrote the first paragraph wanted to let the reader use their own imagination and picture the scene. They're not being lazy, maybe they just feel that's all that's needed to be said. Now for paragraph two it is indeed more detailed. Most likely because from the descrption alone the reader realizes the lushness and vast size of the area. So like I said it's all in the head.

aRedMoon
November 9th, 2004, 04:17 PM
To a point. There's a thin line between a good ammount and just too much.

Miyu-chan
November 9th, 2004, 04:24 PM
To of some extent, I guess... To read a fanfiction is like watching a movie in your mind. I want to be able to visulize it an dream it. xD;

And shouldn't this go in the fanfiction section?

*Moves*

If I'm wrong, just move it back. :P

Nah.. nevermind, since there's 2 fanfiction forums. o.o;

Dragonfree
November 9th, 2004, 04:29 PM
o.O;;;; You sound EXACTLY like me... in fact, this is what I wrote on my site:

If you post your fic at a forum, at least if it's a relatively active one, it is likely that you'll get a stream of people telling you to describe more unless you describe amazingly well already. I've also found that when something has a bad plot, not a very solid writing style, and especially bad spelling and grammar, people will demand more description than if you are strong in these aspects. It sometimes seems to me that some people will simply read the fic, and if they like it, they say everything is fine (except for perhaps some minor things), but if they don't like it, they're very likely to decide that lack of description is to blame. Not that people don't comment on the plot and stuff too, but description is something that people almost always comment on if the fic is sub-par overall. Basically, many people seem to think of description as an incredibly important thing. I disagree. Why?

I've heard fiction being compared to video games, and I like that comparison. Pretty much every aspect of writing has a counterpart in video games. Plot, length, overall appreciation. Description is the counterpart of graphics.

There are graphic-freaks out there. They won't buy a game if the graphics are bad, and they will buy a game with good graphics, irrelevant of the rest. But they are a minority. Most people prefer the gameplay by far. Most Pokmon fans will agree that Red and Blue were great games, even though the graphics were horrible. The Pokmon games' graphics are overall sub-par, but we don't really care that much, do we? Nope. It's the amazing addictive effect that Pokmon has on us.

Now, people have different systems, and on the slower ones, too detailed graphics can slow the game down, making it just plain irritating to play, or even prevent the game from working on the system at all. The very fastest will sometimes refuse to play old games (with bad graphics), too. People have a "system" built in them; it's their sensitivity to overdescription and underdescription. And it's not the people's own fault if they're sensitive to over- or underdescription, so saying "they should have updated long ago" won't save you from the fact that some people simply cannot read overdescribed text. That includes me. Description that's one word too long will be very unattractive to me.

Basically, description should be handled with care, and always balanced so that as many people as possible can read it without it getting lengthy or slow.

Miyu-chan
November 9th, 2004, 04:40 PM
Really? xD Well, I told my mom that while watching LoTR yesterday. =]
Sugoi.

Geometric-sama
November 9th, 2004, 05:23 PM
If you describe, you have to describe so it feels alive. If you put in a lot of description but it just feels dead, people will fall asleep on you... or die on you o_O

~Ozy~
November 9th, 2004, 05:56 PM
It depends. You can add a lot of description without adding a whole lot of length. It's one of the things that makes me rip my hair out, writing a good 50-page novella. Than I go back, read 10 pages of Fellowship of the Ring and realize tolkein said more in those 10 pages than I did in my 50. It really depends I think on word order.

Geometric-sama
November 9th, 2004, 06:25 PM
I like to depend more on the feeling than on the description. It makes things move more. (See my story about Freddy in Other Writing for example.)

asher_son_of_ash
November 10th, 2004, 10:11 AM
Yes, for certain fanfics it is a necessity for descriptions...I mean, short, simple sentences aren't in terms of compromising with the readers. But, too much descriptions and make the paragraphs a little raw and overrated. I love descriptions personally, but not overdone with them. Who likes stories with nothing but descriptions? If you're describing a specific thing, then fine descriptions are perfectly okay. I guess it differs on the readers' taste.

Yes, people shouldn't demand more descriptions. XD Just keep them at level, not too much or not too less, and it should be okay. Too much isn't a crime, but it can get tedious, boring, agreeable to 'certain' people, or some just can't go along with it. Too less...well, majority doesn't like it. ._.;

You're absolutely right.

Hmm. Well that author isn't being too true to him or herself or format then... I don't like doing stuff like that. I just do what I gotta do the way I want it to be done. But that's just me.

Anyway, from your comparision of those two paragraphs I came to my very bothersome conclusion: Depending on the story or situation at hand either paragraph should suffice. Why?: Let's say the said person who wrote the first paragraph wanted to let the reader use their own imagination and picture the scene. They're not being lazy, maybe they just feel that's all that's needed to be said. Now for paragraph two it is indeed more detailed. Most likely because from the descrption alone the reader realizes the lushness and vast size of the area. So like I said it's all in the head.

Okay. X_X But I was rushed when I wrote that. I actually meant for paragraph two to be more fused with action and description. Sorta like first and second fused together. But only with more action. O.o; However, if you like it and think of it as a splendid example, then okay.

To a point. There's a thin line between a good amount and just too much.

agree. X_x; Its like a number line. Negative 0 Positive. It can go from a proper amount to excessive.

To of some extent, I guess... To read a fanfiction is like watching a movie in your mind. I want to be able to visulize it an dream it. xD;

o.O; It may seem like a movie, but you use your mental capacity to view the surroundings described and its cheaper! XP;

o.O;;;; You sound EXACTLY like me... in fact, this is what I wrote on my site:

I remember that! Its in your writing guide in your site. I read it last week You do a pretty good site there. O.O;


If you describe, you have to describe so it feels alive. If you put in a lot of description but it just feels dead, people will fall asleep on you... or die on you o_O

Err . Agreed. XD;

It depends. You can add a lot of description without adding a whole lot of length. It's one of the things that makes me rip my hair out, writing a good 50-page novella. Than I go back, read 10 pages of Fellowship of the Ring and realize tolkein said more in those 10 pages than I did in my 50. It really depends I think on word order.

EXACTLY MY POINT! People describe and and put an action in words more, but talk less (As in dont write much). And it doesnt get boring at all. Unless most of the words are actually FULL of heavy words. (Such as urm big words with long meanings? XD)

I like to depend more on the feeling than on the description. It makes things move more. (See my story about Freddy in Other Writing for example.)
o.o; Description isnt that important. All right, It's fairly important, but there shouldn't be so much it's boring.
It's not very important, I think what happens matters more than how much the author tells you about how it did. Hey, we have brains for a reason, we're capable of filling in the blanks when something hasn't been described in detail...

Isaac Gravity
November 10th, 2004, 10:19 AM
Now your confusing me. Just how much is too much? You mean like when one part is written yet they add on a pointless add on or two?

asher_son_of_ash
November 10th, 2004, 10:22 AM
Too much is excessive. X.x; Duh? Like over four to five lines of description without any action involved is plain AND way too much.

Isaac Gravity
November 10th, 2004, 10:29 AM
... OK... Well if that's the case then that IS bad. It reminds me when I had that assignment to read the Jane Austen Book "Emma" Now that was a overdescriptive book. But overall, I still stand by my earlier comments.

Geometric-sama
November 11th, 2004, 04:47 PM
o_O We have brains? *taps head* Nah, it's hollow :P XD

Kylie-chan
November 24th, 2004, 12:38 AM
Well, I hate over-description (IRL, I'm PC's official HYPOCRITE! i think), but I do prefer lotsa nitty-gritty details. The description has to be good, and "all things in moderation" (my mother's favourite quote), as some people say.

Some people would love to vote yes on this poll and use it as an excuse for being lazy and not describing.

Description is an essential part of it.

*drags frosty over by the ear. "Now go and give them a piece of your mind!"*

Iveechan
November 24th, 2004, 04:49 AM
I can't stand over-description. The moment I skim through a 20 line paragraph and realize it's describing someone's FRICKIN' OUTFIT, then I know something's wrong.

-Riyuko-
November 24th, 2004, 05:07 AM
Well, its all really about how you look at it. =/ Description is one thing that makes an author a great one. I personally dont mind a lot of description at all. It's good that at least people are taking the time to right a good fan fic or RP, instead of rushing through it and making a terrible one. Description also gives you a better look at the story. And refering to what asher_son_of_ash said in his first post, you can also get quite lost in a story if the author doesnt have a lot of description. o.o;

Though, that is what I think. ^^