Sunday, January 25, 2015

Paying Attention To The Details

“Making people believe the unbelievable is no trick; it’s work. … Belief and reader absorption come in the details: An overturned tricycle in the gutter of an abandoned neighborhood can stand for everything.” — Stephen King

I live for those little details as a reader. They give you a sense of time and place. They set the tone. As a writer I love layering those details into the story. It's no secret that I enjoy the editing process over writing the first draft. I could edit all day long. Writing the first draft? Two hour tops and I'm done. Once I get to the middle of the story there are some days I'd rather be sitting in the dentist office having teeth pulled. 

Right now I'm busy plotting and writing that first draft. Which leads to timelines. I love these things. I have a suspense plotline, relationship plotline, and intimacy plotline.  




I'm also busy researching as I've have a characater involved in politics. I know next to nothing about the inner workings of our federal government or the what happens on Parliament Hill. But doing research is tricky. It's all fun and games until you get sucked in so far you're never finding your way out. All of a sudden people are asking when supper is. Supper? What happened to the afternoon? 


Then I start printing out tables with sunrise and sunset times. Sometimes maps. Pictures. So I have a sense of the details that need to be added.

That's what happens when I'm in the thick of things which I am right now. 

One of the books I'm reading right now is The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley. It is two stories in one. A contemporary one and an historical one. It is so rich in detail that I have no trouble at all imagining myself in Russia with young Anna and Catherine the Great. It's lovely writing that uses all the senses to take the reader on a wonderful journey.

If you're a writer, what does your process look like? As a reader do you prefer books rich in detail? Or do you prefer a more 'just the facts' type of story?

3 comments:

B.E. Sanderson said...

I much prefer writing the first draft - then the story is brand new to me and I'm discovering all these interesting things. Editing for me is a total slog through waist deep oatmeal.

As a reader, it depends on the genre I'm reading as to how much detail I like. For fantasy or SF or literature, more detail is good. For suspense or mystery or even romance, I like less detail - because I want to get back to the plot or the romance or the central issue.

Karyn Good said...

Good point, B.E. It can depend on your expectations and what you're looking for in a certain type of story.

Aldea Aundy said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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