I’ve always though of description like a spice. If you don’t use any, the dish will be bland and it won’t taste good. If you use too much, it will be over powering.
Lets look at it.
She walked into a room.
So from this sentences, we know two things. 1) The character is a girl, 2) and she just entered a room.
But that’s it.
We don’t know anything about her, what she’s doing or the place she went into it. Was she forced in? Is she going willingly? What’s the room look like? Is she at home? What is going on?
Lets see it one more time.
She stumbled forward, her feet getting caught up in the dull red carpet. The air she breathed in was stale, like no one had been here in a long time. It was enough to make it seem like a heavy ,wet, blanket around her. The walls were dirty, each covered in dried, horrible slime. Around her, the furniture didn’t seem to be much better. Each looked like it was seconds away from breaking apart. The tiniest of weight applied to their filthy surface might send the unfortunate person crashing down onto the worn carpet. Above the girl’s head shone a beautiful crystal chandelier. There must of been thousands of crystals, each glimmering like the stars in the sky on a clear, gorgeous night. It looked like the only clean and pure thing in the room.
Okay, now this paragraph, IMO, is a bit much.
Lets list the adjectives I used.
Get the idea? What do most of these have in common? They’re about the state of the room. We get it. It’s old and broken down. We get it, don’t have to keep saying the same thing differently.
If I had to read an entire book written this way, I’d get overwhelmed. It’s okay to describe a few things this way (Maybe if it’s really important?) But you don’t have to bog down the reader with tons and tons of details.
Use description like a spice. Not too little, but not too much either. =)