There are many strange truths about writing crime and thriller fiction, and one of them is just how much descriptive detail can boost the readability of a novel. John Gardner, one of the great thriller writers, summed it up perfectly when he said ‘Detail is the lifeblood of fiction’.
The more detail you chose to include, the less predictable the writing becomes. Skimming over a description loses the reader, zoning-in absorbs him. It’s a way to create fiction that is strong, absorbing and energetic.
Adding detail to your crime story isn’t the same as over-describing. By looking closely at the most interesting parts of the whole – whether it’s an artifact, a character, a landscape or an interior – the description of it will be enhanced. The reader doesn’t want to see it all; that’s like being too close to the screen in the cinema – too much information. Continue reading