Small Details and Breathing Space


For me it’s the little details that bring a book to life – Sure, the power of the story has to be there, the adventure, the thrills and the climax, but it’s the details that breathes life into each scene and makes the characters human – Movement and action can also bring natural flow to dialogue and give breathing space.

People move when they talk. They do things. They also see things and hear things.

Imagine a scene where someone comes to a room, and at the doorway they stop and gaze at what’s within. Imagine describing that in great detail. In bygone days, when authors were paid by the word, you got a lot of detail. Pages and pages of wallpaper and paintings, curtains and furniture.

Now imagine that the character walks into the room and begins a conversation with someone already there. A conversation that is without animation and goes on and on with nothing but dialogue.

Both are deadly. A reader quickly becomes bored with the first, and feeling left out with the second. In the first they see too much, and in the second, not enough – what are they DOING while all that talk is going on?

How about a combination?

[Continue reading…]