It’s all about the details-by Michel Prince
Today I have my other half Michel Prince stopping by with an interesting discussion.
“Oh my God, Timmy was just hit by a car!”
As a writer it’s all about the details. When we create characters we have the luxury of knowing everything about them. Think about your mother. Can you describe her fully or am I going to be surprised when I see she has a birthmark that looks like California on her cheek and she talks with a lisp? Why would you miss that? You’re used to it, I on the other hand might find it an interesting fact.
When I create a character or scene I know the inflection in the voice, what the room looks like and what everyone’s wearing. Now lets look back at Timmy who was just hit by a car. Would it surprise you that his mother wasn’t rushing to his aid?
Or that despite what happened he’s not injured in any way? More importantly his sister is now grounded because she threw his favorite Hotwheel at his head. You were worried about Timmy, I’m sorry I must have left out a few details.
There is a line writers have to walk because we need to help the reader visualize so they feel for our characters, but we also don’t want them to skip over our words, we put them there for a reason. Where the line is drawn is for each individual author. The ironic part is a recent blog post I read about the lack of importance when it comes to traditional grammar rules. Instead of worrying about fragments and dangling participles, editors are now focusing on cleaning out over detailing in writing.
For some reason in our Tweet happy world when we are no longer constrained by 140 characters we run off at the fingertips. Where does that leave me as a writer? I’ve made no bones about the fact I enjoy the old lady hobby of cross-stitching. One of the things I love about the stitching is taking a white piece of fabric and slowly filling it with color and design, and finally putting in the little details.
I’ve added some pictures from one of my recent projects. See how you couldn’t really make out the animals and even the words in some cases. Then as I added the detail a picture a merges and something beautiful is created. I don’t add too much, just enough so you can make out the animals and words, because if I did too much besides it looking busy it would be an ungodly mess.
So, is my writing over detailed? Is it weak and leaving you wondering about someone or something? Or is it, like my cross-stitching with just enough detail? I’ll let you decide. You can find out more about me and my books at www.michelprincebooks.com