My grandmother always said, “The Devil’s in the details.” Details = SMALL THINGS, like dates and times and names spelling correctly. The T’s you must cross.
I didn’t really understand what she meant until later when I had a job that was filled with nothing but those SMALL THINGS. If I messed up–didn’t hit a deadline or didn’t schedule something when I was supposed to–I met the Devil and he wasn’t pretty.
Fortunately, that job is gone, but another one, one that has just as many SMALL THINGS is now mine.
|I’m what people call a WRITER.|
One thing I’ve learned (the hard way, of course) is that details not only have the Devil in them, they have the spark that can give a story some zing. (Did you notice this clever segue?) See what you think of these passages and their details.
* Here are some excellent details about how one character views another.
I like your looks. You’re tall, your face isn’t exactly handsome, but it’s better than that. It’s interesting. I like that small sexy scar on your chin. I like the way your lips move when you smile, the expressions in your eyes, as if you feel a lot of things you don’t talk about. [Rock ‘n Roll Suicide, West]
* Sometimes it’s only a single word that snaps the picture into focus. Here’s an example of that from the obscure book, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkabzn.
“. . .and the floor was covered with hundreds of squashy purple sleeping bags.” [Rowling]
*This one makes me hungry all the time I’m learning to care about the character and what her life will turn out to be.
From a street vendor, Rasheed bought her ice cream. It was the first time she’d eaten ice cream and Mariam had never imagined that such tricks could be played on the palate. She devoured the entire bowl, the crushed-pistachio topping, the tiny rice noodles at the bottom. She marveled at the bewitching texture, the lapping sweetness of it. [A Thousand Splendid Suns, Hosseini]
Do you have any favorite passages that sparkle because of some word or phrase, just the right detail to bring that character or that setting to life?
|HERE’S WHERE TO JOIN VIKLIT’S HOP|