Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Details, details...

After a day with no writing (doctor's appointment, Valentine lunch, shopping...) I'm back in front of the computer. On my day off I compiled a list of odds and ends I wanted in my current work in progress.

Telling the story isn't the only job when writing. The author (that would be me) also has to fill in the details. Every writer has a different working style. Some are even lucky enough to have those pesky details just come to them when they write.

Unfortunately, I tend to get down to the nitty gritty, leaving out the details until I go back for a second or third pass. That's where my detail list comes into play. For instance:

First pass: They went to the village.
Second pass: Sketch description of village.
Third pass: Probably should mention the skulls over the doorways.

See? Yesterday I compiled a list of details I need to add to my story--not just for the fun of it (though I'm sure it won't be quite as boring with the occasional description), but because some tiny details have great significance to the story line. Without those bits and pieces that story is missing something.

That's what I'm doing today. Adding in the skulls over the doorways. If you're a writer, how do you handle the details? Or are you one of the lucky ones they just flow for?



  1. I wish I was one of the lucky ones. Those pecky details usually come to me when I'm in bed or the shower, so I have to keep repeating them in my mind so I don't forget them until I get the chance to write them down.

    Have fun adding those little details today. I'm kinda do that too and adding a few scenes!

  2. Sometimes they come to me as I'm writing; other times a beta reader will ask me, 'Where are they? What does the room/building look like? What color hair does HE have?' LOL! Too busy writing dialogue, and have to go back and insert pesky details such as eye color....or read back and realize the poor guy doesn't even have a last name!

  3. I'm with you. It's often my crit partners who ask "where are they?" "What does he look like?" Other times, an editor.

    So where are the skulls? Huh, huh, where?

  4. Heh. I'm working on them!!! And a couple other things I might have left out...

  5. I detail as I go. Then detail again and again. I like your fill in the lines approach.

  6. I need skulls in my doorway...could solve a lof of problems

  7. Skulls don't receive nearly the respect they should.

  8. Okay Amarinda and Anny, what happened to horseshoes over the door?

  9. Horseshoes are the substitute when your community doesn't allow skulls...

  10. Hmm, no skulls in our work - but since there's a pair of us writing under the pen name Adriana Kraft, we tend to go back and forth with the details. First draft gets the basics on the page - much like you do - and then with each pass we (hopefully) make it richer. Which is part of the fun!