This is gonna be short and sweet because of the title. As always, I am always 100% open to discussion and opinions about my blogs, so please please please feel free to start a conversation with me whenever/wherever.
I see so many writers getting sucked into the “there has to be more description” trap.
I see so many of my friends and colleagues get wrapped up in world building, and character development and making awesome fake restaurants to fit into their world.
That’s awesome. It means you’re really giving your story and the universe you’ve created some thought and a life of its own.
However, this is also a bad idea on some levels.
Think about it. Is a catchy jingle and adorable cartoon animal mascot that you spent hours and hours agonizing over relevant to the story? Is that made up Denny’s or McDonald’s equivalent actually going to be a place that has a reason to exist aside from a passing structure? Is the character’s whole family history actually relevant to the way that they perceive the world and handle different threats to their personal safety? Is this anecdote making a point or is your character just talking to pad your word count?
Seriously, ask yourselves with any plot point, any device you throw in, any twist, any scene: is this relevant? How is this relevant? Will it come back later? Will it affect the outcome of the story either in this novel or in a future novel?
If it’s not, then you need to cut it. Streamline your story and keep writing.