Minimalism in Fiction

There are many different styles of fiction writing that authors can utilize in order to portray their tone, convey their story lines, and get their points across to readers. Highly descriptive writing and minimalist writing will each have different effects on the reader. In recent years, fiction authors appear to have turned more and more toward minimalism when it comes to their descriptive techniques.




Minimalist Descriptive Style: "She walked down the street and waved hello to her neighbor."

Highly Descriptive Style: "The woman, approximately aged 42 but on the sprier side of maturity, raised her palm and fingers gracefully to wiggle them in the direction of the gentleman who was walking towards her. A crimson top with a deep V neckline and ruffled cap sleeves adorned her torso, perfectly outlining her chest with the satin fabric." 

Why More Authors Are Choosing Minimalism When It comes to Description in Fiction Books

There are several different reasons why an author might choose to describe things minimally when writing fiction. Within nonfiction writing, details are usually important but with fiction things are different. Here are just a few reasons why minimalist writing has become more popular in recent decades.

Details Can Convey Important Symbolism and Messages

Sometimes details say a great deal about the situations and characters in a piece of fiction writing. Other times they serve as meaningless filler. By eliminating their use of descriptive language as meaningless filler, writers can make the context of their language use more inherently symbolic. The details that they do choose to describe in-depth will stand out as highly important when the others are omitted.

Stories are More Plot Driven and Less Description Driving to Make Them Engaging

Descriptive text does not usually drive the plot or action of a story. It helps to set the scene and create a visual scene in the mind of a reader, but action needs to happen in every setting. Text that is more rapid-paced, with lots of engaging dialogue and action will often engage readers more. Modern readers often crave more fast-paced scenes that remind them of their favorite movies. Fiction writing that is done in this way will also translate to screen far better than highly descriptive writing. 

Authors Want to Release Easily Readable Content

Simpler, shorter sentences appeal to certain types of modern readers far more than descriptive writing does. Authors who are looking to release easily readable content that can be accessed by a wide variety of readers might choose to utilize minimalism in their writing style.

Authors Are Influenced by One Another

When trends start in the writing field, they often have a ripple effect throughout the industry. When authors start to become popular utilizing minimalism in their fiction, other authors notice this and take inspiration.


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An unemployed male nurse lands a job at a reproductive clinic only to learn the babies he is helping to create are being sold to the local vampire population.​

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