How much description is too much description?

How much description is too much description? When it comes to writing, we want the reader to understand what is happening.

Writers tend to describe the situation and setting through the five senses, giving detail when needed.

For example:

“The sky was clear. The clouds as white and fluffy as they can be. Is that… a horse? That cloud looks like a horse.”

Now there is a way I think most people can agree that you can go about writing this piece of information the most excessive way possible.

Like this:

“I was standing. The sky was blue. The same sky also seemed like a clear blue. The blue in the sky was closer to a teal than a navy blue. I look to see a cloud. That cloud was white and fluffy. Fluffy like a unicorn. Like a unicorn but it looks more like a horse. The cloud is shaped like how a horse is shaped.”

Could you agree? What about that piece of writing made the description too much? What are other ways that people describe something too excessively?

@Writers tell me your thoughts. You have any more examples you could provide? What about info dumps? How are those equally as bad?


For me it depends on whether that description is relevant to the story. I think it should serve some sort of purpose for that extra focus or detail on a particular thing.

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i don’t think “too much description” is a thing? (my friends are gonna clown me for this bc i’m unable to be concise but oh well)

instead, i think it’s description that wasn’t placed properly into the story
if you read Natalia Ginzburg’s (narrative) essays you can have an example of how something that’s almost entirely made of descriptions can still make an amazing and moving story, depending on how the writer weaves it into the narrative
if you find a way to make things relevant to the story, and if it means anything to it, you can add as much description as you see fit


Agreed. The way I see it, you can do almost anything in writing as long as it makes sense to the story and you do it in a good way ig. I mean that’s what creativity is.

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this is so comedie-

Yes, I agree

I think “too much description” could that the information you are using is stalling your writing and what is being put there isn’t really necessary?

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honestly, the amount of description you put into something whould depend on it’s relevance to the tone or the story
For example, when I was nine or ten, I tried writing a book. I called it “The animal twins” or something stupid like that. My mother called it “The book of doors”
I put very little descriptions into my characters - the bare minimum, because I was inexperienced with character development, among other reasons.
However, when it came to the doors that my characters passed through, I went wild. My special interest at the time wa gemstones, and I decorated every single door with a myriad of them. Here’s an example lmao:

He led the 2 girls back through the corridor to a door made out of orange garnet, covering in Bornite and the edges had shimmering crystals of Jasper stones.

Through the diamond gateway was the richest looking room that _____ had ever seen, richer than _______’s room! The walls were made out of gleaming quarts, the ceiling was made out of Emeralds, the floor was made of red garnet, some long, thickish poles were made of purple diamonds and a throne in the far end of the room was made of pink crystal. There were people everywhere. Their clothes were made of expensive – looking materials that would cost about 1,000,000 gold lumps (which was money to the twins) in Gereeta. On the throne a dainty young queen sat with a kind smile on her pretty face.

Both are examples of way too much description - or more accurately, the wrong kind of description. You would be better describing something that flows while you read it, while also setting a tone.

  • another tip - don’t go about describing doors like i did :joy:
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