My Achilles heel is either naming things (my pet rabbit is named Bunny) or traveling scenes. Today I’m focusing on the sometimes dreaded traveling scene.
In a medieval type world it takes a lot of time to travel anywhere. Most fantasy novels are chocked full of such scenes. When I’m reading I tend to stare into space during these segments so, I try to make mine as short as they can be.
A traveling scene doesn’t have to be boring or an endless description of everything the characters pass. It is also a good opportunity to advance the plot. The characters would naturally bond spending so much time alone with one another. They’d probably learn some new facts about each other in the process. For instance in Woven Magic I have Alyt spend some of the traveling time learning more about her magic. Some authors like to cause problems for their characters along the way. The trick is to spice it up and not have endless battles which are all the same. As I know from my own travels, plenty of things can go wrong of the ordinary sort as well. It doesn’t have to be a grand battle for a little conflict.
It’s a difficult balancing act. I want to get a character from point A to point B, while immersing the reader in my world, but without losing them in the details. My characters spend most of their time traveling, but I generally summarize these parts as much as I can. My problem is getting enough details in so the reader can feel like they are there, but keeping it short.
My character is young. It is her first time going any of these places, so naturally she’ll be excited at seeing so many new things. I try to keep my descriptions to the important things, while still capturing her wonder of the world around her.
Which is worse too many details or too few?