This blog is for those 18 and older.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Description: More Than Just Setting the Scene

When you read a novel, do you read the descriptive narrative? Or do you skip ahead to the dialogue in your rush to reach “The End”?
I know a lot of people who skip ahead and look for the “white spaces” but I’ve never been one of them. Don’t get me wrong. I love the dialogue just as much - the witty banter between hero/heroine, the arguments, the misunderstandings, all written much better than real life (and admit it, things we wish we could say) but I never rush through the descriptions.

The descriptive narratives are where I find an inkling of back story, the reasons why a hero or heroine acts the way he/she does, says what he/she does. The author wants me to know everything - what the hero/heroine is seeing, feeling, thinking, even what clothes he/she is wearing. I love those parts. I devour each word, each sentence so I can truly escape into the world the author has created.

And isn’t that why we read these wonderful novels? To escape? To live a life not our own? To experience everything the hero/heroine experiences?

Happy Reading!



  1. I wonder what makes people read books in different ways as you suggested? I had always thought that everyone read a book front to back, and that was the only way.

    I've come across many different habits in the last couple of years too, though. Such as reading the last chapter first and skipping parts. I would feel I missed something if I didn't read it thouroughly and I personally wouldn't want to know the ending before I begin reading.
    It would be fun to know what triggered these type of reading habits. And if that's the way a reader enjoys their choice, nothing wrong with that!

  2. I'm like you, Dawn, I read from beginning to end because I want to savor the journey to that happily ever after but I often wonder if people only read the dialogue or read the end first or skip parts because of time issues. Let's face it, there's too much to do and not enough hours in the day. Then again, there are those who read the end first because they HAVE to know, right now, how it turns out. I wonder if anyone has done a study. Perhaps it's the way our world is now - everything seems to be so fast, you know? No more waiting for the six o'clock news to find out what happened that day - it's on MSN, Facebook, AOL, the radio or television almost as soon as it happens. Perhaps we are becoming conditioned to wanting that instant gratification RIGHT NOW. *sigh* Makes me long for the old days (and I'm not really that old).

  3. Okay, so I'm not the only one who thinks this way, and that's about pretty much everything you just said!
    But I'm still going to enjoy every part of a book and I am glad people still read no matter how they do it.
    And a survey would be really interesting...