Ok not really, but she makes me feel infinitely inferior. While I was watching the latest installment in the Potter world (Deathly Hallows part 1), it got me to thinking about the importance of descriptions. Now I want to state for the record, that I basically die a slow death every time I have to force myself to go back and flush out a description of a place or thing. My mind simply tires of having to illustrate every detail and nuance of a scene.
And if I'm being completely honest, in the majority of books I read, I sometimes find myself skipping over long drawn out descriptions. Some of them are ridiculous and mind numbing. Frankly who can stand reading two or more paragraphs describing the china, or the pictures on the wall, or the food on the table? I can't that's who. Do I really need a detailed list of every piece of food that a main character places into their mouth? No, no I don't.
So in my own work, I tend towards the theory less is more. Unless more is needed. If it isn't imperative to my story, I cut it out. This is a theory many writers, or would be writers for that matter, could stand to adapt. Too many times it feels as if an author is trying to fill up dead space.
But back to J.K. Rowling, she is superb detailer. She never over explains, and her descriptions pull you into her world completely. This is an example of the art that I strive to imitate. To give enough description to pull a reader into my world, but not too much to turn them off.
I'm sure many authors will disagree with me, maybe even label me a dissenter, but please remember this is only one lowly writer's opinion. I say write what works for you. After all if you don't follow my advice, I'll probably just skip over the boring overly described parts and still enjoy reading your book.
P.S I apologize in advance for any annoying overusage of the word description, but it couldn't be helped!