Balancing Words and Description

I’ve been reading The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, the sequel to his stellar book The Shadow of the Wind, and noticed his eloquent use of description. Passages swoop and soar with metaphor and simile in a way that brings life to the mundane. Likewise, fantasy author China Miéville uses his extensive vocabulary to create a verbal feast for even the most basic of descriptions. Yet sit in any writing class nowadays and you will be told to avoid this type of prose. So what’s a writer to do? We love words and the wonderful images the perfect word can create (if we didn’t, we’d be in some other profession), yet time and again we are told to avoid such things.

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