Sunday, July 1, 2012

Detail in a novel

I for one enjoy fantasy stories with complex systems of magic, and flawed and detailed characters. But I don’t care for too much detail in a story. I know this sounds like a contradiction, but I have to be honest. Too much detail is like not enough detail. To me they become boring. There is a razors edge that a writer must walk to provide enough detail to make their character’s interesting, believable, and complete, and not over kill us with every little mundane thing.

 This goes for science fiction for me too. If a writer bogs me down in the minutia, I lose interest pretty quickly. Frank Herbert did that to me, as did Asimov at times. Niven walked that thin line, but didn’t stray over it for me. I wonder what limits you – my humble readers put on your pleasure reading. Do you have criteria too? How much detail is too much for you? Do you have a problem with too little detail? Who are the authors you think really have a good balance between not enough and too much?