Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tuesday's Inspiration - Details, Details

Looking at Discovering The Writer Within and came upon a bit about details. To me this didn't mean sitting down and loading a person, place, event, time or any other part of the story with a lot of details. Used to be writers went on for paragraphs and even pages loading detail after detail until the reader wasn't sure what the scene or not-scene meant to the story. This sometimes happen and I've often gone in the opposite direction with the detail absent.

We've all heard "the devil in in the details." Looking at this also made me wonder about just how many or how few details were needed to develop a scene, show a character in action, give a picture of the placeor the time an event is occurring. What is really needed are "telling details."

So for the free writing session today take the idea you've been developing and choose character, setting, time period or actually the who, where, and when of the story and think about finding a detail for each one that makes them unique. This may mean sitting down and either writing out or writing in your head everything you know about the who where and when of the story.

Does your character have a particular trait, manner of expression, even a look that distinguishes him or her from the million characters roaming the pages of thousands of stories. Once you find that single defining detail, then think of ways to use it without saying every few sentences that say his or her lip curled in disdain, or he was seven feet tall, or the house had seventeen bedrooms, the scents of spring. Then you're on the way to finding a way to exploit a particular detail and bring your characters, setting or time frame to life.


Anonymous said...

Super lesson. Thanks Janet.

Janice Seagraves said...

Your right about the details. I usually don't do a lot of internal dialogue or description.

But a defining characteristic for you hero/heroine is very important.


Mannouchka said...

That's was a super lesson Janet
I wish you a nice week
Very good work

Morgan Mandel said...

Very true. A telling detail is a great way to set a character apart from the others. Great exercise.

Morgan Mandel