I usually try to write about my writing life on my personal blog, www.patriciarice.blogspot.com, but today’s topic seems to have a cultural slant, and I’m really interested in hearing the opinion of experienced readers.
Recently, I heard a new author complain that her agent advised her to highlight all the setting descriptions and characterization in her book, then whack out as much of them as possible, essentially stripping the pages down to dialogue and sex. Now I understand how that might work for erotica, but this was an historical romance!
Have books come to this? Are we now writing screenplays and TV scripts instead of novels? I’ve noticed a lot of the current “action” romances are high on dialogue and low on setting, and admittedly, there are historical romances with no history. But I’ve been thinking those just reflected individual styles. Instead, could talking heads be the latest trend?
I understand that we don’t need as much description as readers did in pre-television days. After all, we know what a sailing ship and an English country estate looks like in full Technicolor. So how much grounding in the setting do you need?
As readers, do you skim over description? What about a character’s internal monologue? Do you need to see words inside quotes before you’ll read them? Or do you skim down to the sex scenes? I’m fascinated. Tell me!