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  • Writer's pictureKristina Atkins

What Say Ye?: Details

New post series! Woohoo!

In my What Say Ye? Series I’m going to ask you, my wonderful readers, a question. Because I’m very curious. I’ll post the question, then give my own thoughts, then you post your thoughts in the comments and we’ll have a great dialogue! Doesn’t that sound so civil and enlightening??

So this week’s (meh, we’ll see if this is a weekly thing) question: How do you feel about little details? Obviously, we all want some of them. But how much do you like when reading? Do you put that amount in your own writing?

Per examplo (that’s a language, right?), I read a book last year in which the author threw in all sorts of little details. The color of a vegetable peeler, for example. Or exactly what a friend’s make-up looked like. I’m all for details, because they make writing richer, fuller. They give the story texture, and it’s great. But it needs to serve a purpose. I really don’t care what color someone’s vegetable peeler is. This book I read had LOTS of random details along those lines, to the point that they distracted me.

But here’s the thing about vegetable peelers. If someone doesn’t have a vegetable peeler, that could tell me something about them. They don’t cook much, they can only afford the basics for cooking, they don’t eat many vegetables. Now we’re getting somewhere. Every bit of writing in your book should serve some kind of purpose, and the best serve multiple (character development, plot movement, etc.). Texture not only enriches the world of the story for the reader, but tells the reader something. So I’m all for that kind of texture–reading it and writing it. But if I keep hearing what color random objects around the house are, I’m going to get annoyed.

Related to this is the discussion of character appearances, but I think that can be split into its own post. And also, it gives me one more post idea. ^_^

So! What level of detail do you like to read/write? Are they the same?

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