In this week’s episode, Taylor and Steve expand on the idea that every scene needs a purpose, with a focus on description. She also shares some thoughts on how unnecessary details can bog down readers, and she reminds us of the ultimate purpose for description.
The Ultimate Purpose of Description is to provide the context and environment that your characters inhabit so that they aren’t forced to exist in a spatial void.
— Taylor Stevens
Here is the original section that’s Taylor is using for example purposes, from Chapter 4 of Steve’s Reggie book.
Chez Reggie is a 1,452 square feet cottage that has survived three hurricanes, six owners and the relentless march of bigger, newer, and more expensive since 1956. Originally built as a winter getaway for Chuck and Brenda Powell, the cottage passed through several hands before I bought it for a song from an old-timer who didn’t want it torn down and replaced with what he called a “damn monstrosity”.
The house is a boxy structure that was completed before things like floodplains were a part of city planning. That meant that it didn’t need to be built on a mountain of fill dirt. My home sat sedately at ground level, where all of Elan had been back in the day. Each time one of these old cottages are demolished to make room for a new three-story temple of success the city loses more of its charm. At least in the way I define charm. Granted, I may be in the minority.
I’d had the shingle roof replaced with tin a year ago, and the sound inside the house during rainstorms is magical. Some female guests of Chez Reggie find the sound of rain on a tin roof to be an aphrodisiac, making me one of the few people in Elan who look forward to multi-day tropical storms.
Unfortunately, the only sound inside my lonely home tonight was the sound of my pen scratching against a moleskin notebook.
Thanks so much for joining us again this week!
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