There was a time when you couldn’t pick up a book without massive blocks of descriptive prose. It was an art form all of its own.These descriptions were seen to be adding more depth to the story and giving the reader more information about the characters and setting.
Modern writers tend to steer clear of vast expanses of informative, yet mostly unnecessary writing. In fact, authors have gone in the opposite direction, giving only what is needed to leave the reader to imagine the rest. There also tends to be less time given to journeys and the transition of time.The modern method seems to be to get there as quickly as possible and cut out the filler. Again, this works well for me as a writer and a reader
Personally, I don’t mind some description, but I much prefer it when it is kept to a minimum. As Stephen King said in his excellent On Writing book, you don’t need a spot by spot account of someone’s face to say they have acne.
But what about you? Do you think we have lost something with the fast-moving novels of today? Do you think the art of prose has died as a result of our need to ‘get there already’? Do you think stories can sometimes seem a little hollow when they are swept up by the endless need to keep moving? Or do you think that relevance is key, and everything else if just filler and waffle?
Please share your opinions below.