Let’s talk horses and other fiddly bits

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m writing a fantasy novel at the moment. ^_^ And like many fantasy novels, I have horses in mine. The question is, does anyone care what they do? I let the reader know that my characters are riding into the woods on horseback. I let the reader know when they dismount. Other than that, does it matter? If I have one character move close to another character to whisper, do I need to say, “She steered her horse over to so-and-so”? I find this makes a chapter feature the word “horse” 2976 times.

That leads me to thinking of other ‘fiddly’ bits in a story, other things that, once established, probably don’t need to be mentioned again unless they become especially relevant to the plot. Clothing usually falls into this category for me. I describe it initially, of course, so the reader can get a picture, but I don’t linger over it. I do know that some people really enjoy lingering over clothing in a book, but I sometimes find that if an author spends too much time describing what everyone’s wearing, I forget what was going on in the first place. I think the same may be true for all ‘fiddly” bits of a book.

Does anyone else have this problem?


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