Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Back to reading John Gardner for some inspiration. "Detail is the lifeblood of fiction." Had to think about this some since I'm often told that my details sound like laundry lists. Re-reading what he wrote about this by details he meant those little things that bring a character to life. Their gestures, their reactions and their actions. He was talking about showing and not telling. Details seem to be find when describing settings. Is there a way to make these details come to life? Sure it. That means the character interacting with an object or with a setting. The sight of the house always brought a nostalgic sadness, knowing the ranch had once been the home she could never feel comfortable visiting. Boy does this kind of thing evoke curiosity. One can tell about incidents in the past but it they have no effect on the present story, they may not need to be there unless they can be brought to mean something to one character or another. So making sure your details show the character in some kind of emotion, action or reaction makes the character and the story live.