It is the Goldilocks question I often ask myself. “Is it too little, too much, or just right?”
Description is what makes the reader a sensory participant in the story. Good description is a learned skill, one of the prime reasons why you cannot succeed unless you read a lot and write a lot. It’s not just a question of how-to, you see; it’s also a question of how much to. Reading will help you answer how much, and only reams of writing will help you with the how. You can learn only by doing.
I too collect names, and do some o the other things mentioned in this post.
Some writers (A) are very open about putting people they know in their book, whether it is revenge (never be mean to a writer), or for less nefarious reasons (I admire you, I love you, I like you, you are fun, you are interesting).
Some writers (B) deny all, even vague, linkage between real people and the fictional characters in their book.
I’m going to let you into a secret. If you know a writer . . . you are almost certainly, okay definitely, in their book!
So, are these writers (B) lying? Are they seeking to mislead you?
No, not really, it’s more of a—subconscious inclusion—that a writer cannot possibly help.
The thing is, that a writer crafts their story out of their imagination, which is made up of everything they have ever seen, everything they have ever heard, and everything they have ever read. And while much of this input is from…
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