Have you ever given a character your interests? If you enjoy archery, or bird watching, or even just shopping, do you give any of those traits deliberately to your character? My main concern for this is that we end up putting too much detail into the character’s hobby, making it quite dull for the reader. Fantastic, so you love aquariums, and so does your protagonist, but after you’ve described your ideal fish tank in detail, (including the colours of each fish and the wattage to the latest water pump,) how many readers would still be reading?
I am ashamed to say that it took me three attempts to read ’40,000 leagues under the sea’. This was due mainly to the page upon page of detailed descriptions of the deep sea dwelling creatures that appear for only a second, just to be described, before they disappear again. I know that authors are trying to give a realistic view of their character, or of the location, but how much detail is too much? I honestly felt, with the previously mentioned book, (as good as it was, because aside from this, it is still a good book.) I was reading an encyclopaedia of under-water occupants.
Many authors I meet give their characters interests that they are themselves interested in because it helps them connect with the character more. This little detail helps the author get enthusiastic about what they’re writing and allows a 50,000-100,000 word manuscript to be written with some ease. But tell me what you think.
Read, follow, comment and enjoy. M x