Saturday, February 18, 2017

February 2016 Round Robin Blog Fest

Welcome back, Round Robin Readers!

Today's topic for discussion is:  Description. What is your saturation point? What is not enough? How do you decide what to include and when to hold back to allow the reader to fill in the blanks? Do you ever skim description when reading a book? If so, what description are you likely to skip?

Wow. That's a lot of questions.

Let me start off by saying I'm NOT a fan of the whole Fifty Shades style of books. As a writer, I'm more uncomfortable reading bad writing than over-descriptive writing, but that's a whole other topic.

I write cozy mystery with a little romance so I like to rein in the description and let the reader's imaginations take them to where they want to go. Romance scenes for me call for a steamy kiss or two they say in Mama Mia: dot, dot, dot. I don't include a lot of graphic violence, gore, or steamy sex scenes because that's not the nature of the genre.

What I do include is just enough titillation to get the reader's imagination going. They can fill in the blanks and don't need to have the details smushed in their faces like birthday cake. If that's the type of novel they seek, there are many writers out there who do that - and do a really great job of it!

As a writer, when I do attempt to write a racy scene, I usually consider my audience as well. Are my kids going to read this? Are my friends? Is my mom? Gulp! Lots of pressure. I'm still learning how to deal with the comments from friends and family about writing books about murder, heaven knows the things they'd say if I wrote something x-rated! Even reading racy material, I will skim over the details to get back to the story. I'd prefer to get lost in a well-written story than something that makes me blush fifty shades of red.

I guess the sort of scenes I prefer to write - and to read - are ones that bring me to a brink of what could happen. The build up. Set the scene, form the relationships between the characters, set the mood and....  Personally, I find the possibilities far more intriguing than the in-your-face sex scenes or even the gory murder scenes in thrillers and horrors.

Trust me. My imagination can fill in the blanks quite well without being told what to envision!
I hope you'll go to check out the blog posts by some very amazing writers - all of whom are very good at filling in the blanks and all the details as well!

Marci Baun
Skye Taylor
Beverley Bateman
Anne Stenhouse
Dr. Bob Rich
A.J. Maguire
Rachael Kosinski
Diane Bator
Rhobin Courtright


  1. Hi Diane, another person who skims the sex scenes to get to the story. Yay! I do agree, less is more and also, imho, better. anne stenhouse

  2. I also find it very sad that major publishers are now more into exotic scenes than good stories. But with statements like "details smushed in their faces like birthday cake," I don't think you need to worry about collecting dedicated readers.

    1. My apologies, that did not come out the way I meant, because I meant just the opposite--that readers will be dedicated to your stories because I thought the statement funny and descriptive. My selection of words was way off, again apologies!

  3. Couldn't agree more on the sex scenes. I do actually love to "see" or perhaps a better word is "experience" the consummation of the sexual tension that has been building, but I'd rather experience the way it's making the character feel rather than via a detailed description of how you fit tab A into slot B.

  4. My readers want the details of a sex scene. While I don't always necessarily want to write them, I oblige. I find them challenging to write sometimes. Not that I'm embarrassed by them, but more there's only so many ways tab A can fit into slot B. LOL

    The amount of description and kind does depend on genre.

    1. That's what one of the women in my chapter always says - only so many ways to get the job done, it gets a little old describing it over and over. Maybe that's why the over the top SMDB (or whatever the acronym is) has caught on. Not with me, but.....

  5. Diane, it always makes me highly uncomfortable to read those kinds of scenes, especially when they last pages and pages! Definitely better when the author leaves something to the imagination. :)

  6. I loved that you like to rein in the description and let the reader's imaginations take them to where they want to go. Along with making sure the words move a tory along I think letting the readers imagine it their way.

  7. The line between erotic and pornographic seems to be getting thinner and thinner. Whatever happened to a beautiful passionate kiss? Or expressing passion with words? I must be from some other time. LOL All in all it's the quality of the story that will keep me turning the page. I agree with you Diane. My imagination can fill in the blanks just fine. :-)


Escape With a Writer Has MOVED!

  You can find all of the latest and greatest releases, interviews, and books at: