Adventures in fiction writing.
There are many descriptors that a writer can use to convey the physical act of walking. For example:
- Tip toe
You get the idea… However, one of the mistakes I made in my early fiction pieces –fortunately one that I caught before publishing– is to over-describe a character’s movements within a scene. Let’s suppose we are writing a scene in which a couple at home is having a conversation, while cooking together in the kitchen.
Joni walked to the refrigerator and gathered all the ingredients for the salad. Then she walked to the counter and set them in front of Graham before hurrying back to the stove to stir the soup.
That’s just two sentences, but imagine that going on throughout a 300 page novel! Every time a character makes a move, the writer doesn’t need to describe it.
Joni gathered the salad ingredients from the refrigerator and set them in front of Graham, then returned to the stove to stir the soup.
The use of a variety of descriptors for movement helps us to visualize the scene. it is part of the concept of ‘show don’t tell’ in writing. Some scenes will require a lot of movement –a fight scene, or a foot chase, for example. A heated discussion might have a character agitated and pacing or wildly gesturing. In those instances, a detailed description of their moves would be appropriate. But in a routine setting like the one above, the reader doesn’t need to see every little move a character makes.
Happy writing and productive editing!
(Header image courtesy stpaul.gov Google images)