Thursday, April 4, 2013

King's Speech: D is for DESCRIPTION

Regular readers of The Shellshank Redemption know how much I enjoy a good quote (see Motivational Mondays) and that I’m a huge fan of Stephen King (see the King of All Days Part I and Part II.) So, for the 2013 A-Z Challenge, I decided to combine the two, using some of my favorite King quotes about reading, writing and life in general. Enjoy!


DESCRIPTION begins in the writer’s imagination, 
but should finish in the reader’s.
(Stephen King)

My favorite descriptive passages to read – and to write! - don’t go into every little detail. As a reader, I take what the writer hands off to me, and then form the picture I need for the story to take shape. As a writer, I trust that my readers do the same thing. The reading experience becomes a relay race where the baton of imagination is passed from writer to reader.


  1. This can be a hard thing to achieve but something I'm always aiming for.

  2. Nice metaphor there with the baton of imagination.

  3. I really like this one. And also the idea of the relay race. It's a fantastic image.

  4. I like that quote. I like it when a writer leaves enough open for me to form pictures in mind.

  5. Nick - some people enjoy a lot of description. It makes them feel as if they're in the setting, the moment etc.

    Tim - thanks! :)

    Kelly - I'm glad you liked it!

    Susan - it becomes almost like a conversation of sorts that way, doesn't it?

  6. Another great quote!

    I like the baton, too.

    Once I've formed an image of the character or place, a description coming afterward can throw me.

    D is for: Deadlines
    The Daille-y News

  7. I love the baton metaphor too! And agree 100% with this quote. Nothing ruins a story faster than going overboard on description.

  8. Hello, Madeline! I'm featuring authors on my blog for the Challenge, and tomorrow is Stephen King! I'm using his middle name, Edwin, for the letter E. :) The Eyes of the Dragon is my favorite SK novel!

    Happy A to Z-ing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

  9. This is SO TRUE. I think that is where writers sometimes lose me as the reader--they go far enough that it loses credibility, where if they can leave some for me to complete it in my imagination, I can make the leap.

  10. Stephen King is one who is incredible at painting a picture. It's usually pretty gruesome, but he is good at it.

    Dropping in from A to Z. This is my first year. I love it.

    Brett Minor
    Transformed Nonconformist

  11. Barbara - glad you liked it!

    Julie - it can slow a story down so much, can't it?

    Laura - oh, that's a good idea! :)

    Hart - I think if the writer gives a few details about, say, a haunted house, the reader can take those details and fill in the lines themselves. Thanks for Following!

    Brett - King uses just the right words to put the picture in our heads. I just wish it was as easy to get those pictures out sometimes! :)

  12. I think that's my favorite quote that I've read on here thus far.

  13. It tend to skip pages if there's too much description - in most cases it doesn't add to the story or slows it down too much.

  14. OE - you do know we have 20 plus days left in this Challenge, right? :)

    Annalisa - I do the same thing. A little description goes a long way.

  15. That's a clever name for your blog, by the way.

    I too like it when the author can guide the reader to leave certain details up to their own imagination.

  16. Cynthia - think you! I'll let the tortoises know you like it. :)

  17. Great quote! I love me some Stephen King. :-D

    Kayla at Bibliophilia, Please

  18. Just stopping by from a-z. You've got some great quotes and some great advice!

    Have fun with the challenge.

  19. What a fun theme! I love quotes and the ones you've shared so far are great! I look forward to stopping by again! :)

  20. I really need to read SK's book On Writing. I have it sitting on my shelf, waiting, but just haven't picked it up. I have to get to it.

  21. This was one of those things I had to realize and consciously put into my writing. We don't need to put in every single little detail. After all, the scariest monsters are the ones we don't see, right?

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

  22. That's a nice thought and I agree. I love books which help me imagine and describe the world that is created..

    Keep Calm and A-Z
    An A-Z of learning English
    Round the world from A to Z

  23. I'm loving all your quotes. I've always thought the writing and reading connection is a little like magic, the ability to communicate across time and space...even lifetimes. Another person's thoughts inside my head--minus the schizophrenia, of course.

  24. Kayla - glad you liked it!

    Jessica - I'm glad you stopped by! Enjoy the Challenge, too. :)

    Lexie - hope to see you here again soon! :)

    Suzi - definitely pick it up! It's a great read, not just for writers but also for readers.

    Shannon - those tend to be my favorite "monsters" - the ones we only get a glimpse of now and then...until the big reveal.

    Duncan - I'm glad you stopped by! Thanks for visiting.

    Rebecca - I absolutely agree about the magic between writers and readers. :)

  25. Oh, that's excellent! I need to remember that one--