How much detail in a novel is too much? Specifically how much are you willing to learn about—let’s say—running a hardware store. What if the information about screws and drills and rakes is pertinent to the story or creates the atmosphere that makes the story go?
I am wrestling with this now. In short stories, it was pretty easy—just a sentence or two was all I had space for. But now I can tell you lots and lots about hardware stores. I studied up on them and there is a case for putting a lot of this in the novel. It will reek of wood and metal and fertilizer if I do. And jeez, I did spend months learning about how they do the inventory and what kind of things customers say when they come into the store.
I know it depends on how interesting it is and how it adds to the story but do you usually want to get back to the action? Do you usually think, “All right already with how bolts work? Give me a murder about now.
Save me from drowning in my details before it’s too late. See, even here there is too much detail.