Writing is not just my passion, it is also my job. Making a contribution let's me continue doing it for you.
Together we'll make more content for you to enjoy!
Your contribution is greatly appreciated!
Together we'll continue writing stories for you to enjoy!

Xhak - Patreon - Master

Jessica - Patreon - Initiate

Tessasgoat - Patreon - Apprentice

Selene S. - Patreon - Initiate

Ko-Fi Club - Xhak, Mieren, Jesteronimo, Crazy Cookie Lady, Kelly, Rhaelyant, Tom, Hstevens5, Notos, Cecil Azul, AriZo, Becca, Caitlyn

Your contribution is greatly appreciated!
Please select the email notifications you would like to receive and enter your contact information.
Dark/Light Theme Notifications My Account

Writing Tips 29 - Cutting the irrelevant


<< Back

Cut the irrelevant detail.

It's good to describe a setting, especially if it's a place that will be frequently visited in the story but don't put the same effort into describing how your character gets ready for bed, or what outfit they picked for the day unless it's important to your plot; for example, if they're wearing armor or a special suit or something that has uses, then that's important information. Other than that, it's unnecessary and can be a real pain to read, on top of distracting from the actual story you're trying to tell.

Look I get it, believe me I know. We all love our characters to bits, especially when you're writing for yourself or based your character on an ideal version of yourself (which there's nothing wrong with btw, that's still a legit way to write), and everyone likes to describe cool outfits we think up and whatnot, but if you're gonna do that, then there's a better way to do it.

If you make them choosing their outfit an actual scene, show how they look their clothes and how they're deciding what would be good for the day and what wouldn't, what their goal in mind is, it can be a creative way to slip your 'cool outfit' in and you can make it actually useful information to a reader, by using this scene to show how your character thinks. What they think about, if they care about what other people think vs just picking it out because they like it (which shows they don't have a particular interest in what other people think of their appearance), you can show if they're the type to think ahead by showing whether or not they're choosing an outfit based on the weather and type of activities they're doing, as well as if they have a style or not.

You can show some of their likes and dislikes, and overall what you're doing with the scene is more than just describing that cool outfit you wanted them to wear. You're giving insight into your character and who they are, as well as making them relatable; which can be more valuable in the long run and can even help you get a grasp on your character, and make the chances of you making them act OOC (out of character) decrease significantly.

For the rest of the unnecessary stuff that you're not attached to, like getting ready for bed, those are good times to just sum up what they're doing with something concise like, "so-and-so finished dinner and let the android clear the table while they went upstairs and got ready for bed", you can even add some embellishments to make it more interesting to read, like instead of saying "got ready for bed," you can say, "got ready for some well-deserved rest," and then move on the next scene and what is actually important.

If you spend too much time explaining things that don't matter, it'll drag your story down real fast and make people (including you when you go back to read it, believe me) want to skip ahead and not read too carefully. And worse, it will bury the important details that have been spiced through all those unnecessary words until they can't be seen. Like having too much of something on a sandwich until you can't taste anything else. That's fine if you're making the sandwich for yourself and you like that flavor, but if you're making sandwiches for other people, it's more important to balance the flavors evenly. If you know what I mean.

<< Back