How much is too much? When is the author giving the reader freedom to imagine and when are they just being lazy with descriptions? Should one err on the side of barren descriptions or info dumps?
I wish I had answers to these questions because, frankly, I'm facing some of them right now. See, I know I do long, intricate descriptions of people and places. I'm doing it right now for the short story I'm writing. But for The Paladin, I limited myself to the bare bones, partially to allow the reader to fill in the gaps, and - if we're being honest - a good chunk because I desperately need to cut my word count. And yet, what I feared would happen, happened.
My betas want to know more about my characters. About my settings. Well... some of the more vocal ones do. Others have actually told me what they think my characters look like without hesitation. I don't confirm or correct them, but I do enjoy listening to their takes. But that leaves me in the aforementioned conundrum.
So, I don't ask a lot from readers, but if you feel like posting, I'd love to hear your thoughts. When does a description stop the plot and feel like an info dump? Just how much info should a writer give their reader before it's too much? Do you personally prefer light or heavy descriptions?
I'm kind of stuck here. As I said, I know I can do them because I'm doing them right now with my short story. There's no word limit on that because it's just for me, so I can go on at length about anything I deem important. But for The Paladin, I'm much more restricted.
I'd love to hear what you guys think.
Keep your eyes open for my debut novel, The Paladin.