Writing Tip: It’s in the Details (How to Find Them)

My last post reminded me of a writer’s skill I’ve developed, and am still developing, that has helped me write two books and see those two books published. I’ve learned to notice details, the smallest, most seemingly unimportant details.

For years, I’ve practiced noticing details. How? It’s simple. Let me explain.

1. Find a place to sit. It can be anywhere: a park bench, a church pew, a tree stump, a kitchen floor. Anywhere!

2. Look around. What do you see? Take note. Do you see grass, dirt, dust, webs, people?

3. Okay, now look deeper. Ask questions. Is it green grass? What shade of green? How does the grass move? Is it dry grass? Do the grass blades weave together? Do they touch each other at all. Ask!! Ask!! Ask!! That’s when you begin to notice the details.

4. Finally, make comparisons. Does the grass move like the ocean or ike a crowd of people waving goodbye? Present these comparisons in your writing. They will help your readers experience your story or poem rather than simply read it.

Here’s a challenge. Put your tablet down, close your computer, and look around. Notice the details surrounding you. And have fun looking!!! Ya might find some treasures.

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7 thoughts on “Writing Tip: It’s in the Details (How to Find Them)

  1. Great advice!! I do this in my writing classes as well. I require all the students to enter at least three items in a journal once a week that record the details of what they have observed while deliberately sitting still and making note of details — questioning themselves to delve even deeper. The notes can be about a person, a place/environment, or a conversation that they listened to. It’s hard for them at first, but they realize pretty soon that it really is fun. And before long, they don’t even have to sit still. They just start noticing things that they would never have noticed before. And you’re right: it can make all the difference in whether a book grabs a reader and holds him or not.

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