I admit, I skimp them sometimes when I read, especially when the author dwells on describing something mundane. A sunset is a sunset -- I can imagine one just fine -- unless it has some emotional resonance or moves the plot or develops characters.

Good descriptions, like the painstaking details in a movie (such as Titanic), enhance the reading experience. Descriptions can be wonderful. Vivid descriptions put you in a 3-D space and transport you to that world, whether it's an alien planet or your hometown. The trick is to find the balance. In a movie, you don't want to let the set, the landscape, cinematography, etc. dominate the story and characters. Same concept in a story -- you don't want to STOP the story cold just to describe some beautiful sceneries. There has to be a reason, and descriptions should support and enhance the story, not overwhelm it. The best descriptions are those tightly integrated into the story, and the best descriptions always contain movements.


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