Narrative: Simple Is Best?

Writing takes a long time to perfect.  Actually, I don’t think anyone ever completely perfects their writing, they just keep learning.  Well, I’m also a reader.  I read almost everyday.  But you know what?  I usually don’t pay much attention to style while I read.  I get myself immersed in the experience, rather than analyse the writer’s style.  If I did that, I couldn’t get myself into the story.

Well, today, I decided to just reread a page I’d read in A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin.  I read specifically for how he writes the narrative.  What I discovered was interesting.  He tends to use very straightforward and simple sentences, especially regarding action and thoughts.  He uses adjectives here and there, and he uses descriptive verbs, but the structure is very simple.  He doesn’t get flowery with prose at all.

This style of writing is great for action.  It’s quick, it’s dirty, and it’s very effective.  I can see it very well in my mind.  Some authors try too hard to make their writing pretty, filled with metaphors and less common words that look intelligent.  I read a book that was mostly old and tired figures of speech, and it made the narrator sound like a sarcastic smartass.  It was difficult to read. Now, Martin just goes straight for the action and what is happening.  It feels immediate.  It’s happening now.  I like that.

What do you think?  Is simple the best way to go?