Quote Originally Posted by Feralninja View Post
I guess one thing I used to struggle with was balancing description and actual plot events. I tried to very carefully walk that line, and I often tied myself up into knots trying to figure out if I was describing a scene well enough. I've reached a happy medium now, and I've made it my policy only to give my readers the information they need at that point in the story. If anything else becomes relevant later, I'll let them know then in a way that feels natural. I don't feel compelled to give physical descriptions and paint a mental image of my characters as much anymore. Certainly I give some kind of nod as to their physical appearance, and I continue to build on that as the story progresses. But so long as the reader's image of my characters doesn't directly contradict something I've established in the story, I don't really care how they picture them.

Sometimes I still worry that my writing isn't as descriptive as it should be, and I don't really want a bare-bones minimalist style. But I've decided to stop worrying about it so much and let my writing style develop and evolve naturally without me trying to shape it into something it's not.
A "trademark" of mine has always been not physically describing any of my characters. Some physical descriptions can be pieced together with logic and the information given throughout the story (ex. If the main characters are sophomores in an American high school, you have a general sense of how old they are). I always told my readers that it was up to them to imagine how the characters looked, to better relate to the characters, since readers do that to begin with anyway. If a character is described as "hot," the reader should interpret that as however they view attractiveness in that gender to be. If I were to say that Guy X is hot AND is a redhead, but Reader #5203 thinks blondes are the hottest, well that breaks immersion. So physical descriptions are (almost) always left out. A couple clues are thrown around here and there, and those are the only restrictions on the readers' imaginations I impose (ex. Guy Y is taller than Girl Q, so it is thus canon for everybody).

As far as world-building is concerned, something I'm doing with my current story is making "fun facts" and putting them at the beginning of each post (this world's cultures, rumors, sayings, holidays, scientific discoveries, history, etc.). Most of them are nothing more than more immersion for the reader's benefit, but occasionally, something WILL BE plot important later on. I think it's a creative way to foreshadow future events without being overly blatant about it in the story proper (HEY GUYS!!! THIS WILL BE IMPORTANT LATER SO YOU BETTER REMEMBER IT NOW!!!).