Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Devil's in the Details

...also known as "It's the little things that count."

I'm the first to admit that this is one area I need to improve in my writing. I'm used to getting to straight to the action, dialog and interpersonal interactions. When it comes to setting up the plot or describing settings or clothing, I end up expanding that during subsequent drafts. In my first drafts, I have a perfect picture of what the setting is and how my characters look like. Unfortunately, that doesn't always transfer to the page, at least, not without a lot of work on my part.

"Your reader is not a mind reader!" ranted one of my betas. She'd gone over one of my chapter drafts and put that note all in capital letters in the margin. "Who IS this person and where the heck ARE we?"

Oops. Yeah. Kinda glossed over that part. Granted, I'm not like Arthur Conan Doyle or James Joyce who spend pages describing the countryside or the "phantom lights over the moors" or something like that. I tried reading "War and Peace" and haven't gotten through the damn thing yet. I'd spent a lot of my younger years reading Spillane and Hammett and other crime noir and I think it shows. Fast pace, action, catch the bad guy, case closed.

Slow down, put on the brakes, describe the scene and people in it, enthrall your readers. Like my wise beta said, they can't read your mind.

All original writing and art copyright A. Dameron 2000-2010

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