Recently I was on a panel and someone in the audience asked, “How much of a novel should be dialogue and how much description?” The question sparked a heated discussion.
The male, thriller/noir writers believed strongly that description should be kept to a minimum. The traditional and historical mystery writers, primarily female, claimed description was an essential part of their books. “Sometimes the setting itself becomes a character,” one female author said.
Movies have influenced how we write, too. We are now accustomed to jumping from scene to scene without transitions, the way it is done in films. In the old days the author led the reader by the hand from one scene to the next, describing everything along the way.
What do you think? Do you like more or less description? More or less dialogue? Or, don’t you care, as long as it’s a good story?