The Devil is in the Really Tiny Details

posted in: Writing | 0

Hello and welcome back to another prompt post this time on the theme of tiny. Now, for those of you looking forward to NaNoWriMo you have very little time left to wait as it is precisely a week from today. As of the 1st I will be posting a launch party post to celebrate another attempt at that troublesome mountain, and from then onwards my posts will be geared towards inspiring myself, inspiring other authors who are attempting the challenge, and I will be posting my word limit goals to spur everyone on. If you are joining me for this most interesting challenge then I commend you, if not then stop by for some words of encouragement for the authors who are. We’ll likely need it.

Detail #1: Now, when I heard the word Tiny, my first through when towards details, as they are often very small, tiny even, but can have a big impact on you novel and it’s plot. My first idea for detail would be when describing your setting, and the tone the smaller details can help set when describing it. For example, if your setting is a utopia you might remark on the clean streets, lacking in rubbish, or that there are no homeless people because everyone has a home now. If your setting is darker you might comment on cigarette ends littering the street, the silent and cold way people move through the streets, maybe even a crime scene with the street taped off. These small details can be useful to set a specific tone for your world without having to say these things explicitly; show not tell being one of the more important lessons of writing.

Detail #2: My next tips would come when writing a novel that hides your plot from the reader. Mostly this falls into mystery/crime novels but can also apply to any story where you want to surprise your readers with something big at the end. In this case the details are all important because you can’t surprise your readers with something they didn’t have a chance to see coming, with that ‘oh’ moment that explains all those strange moments before the big reveal. So, if you want the detective to be working with the murderer the whole time then you have to leave those details for readers to find. They can be small, you don’t want things to be obvious after all, but they must be there in some way, perhaps with the murderer being exceedingly tired during the day, or commenting on the crime scene before they’ve learned about the crime scene. Be subtle, but many readers will pride themselves on discovering this mystery and will keep reading your book to see if they’re right.

Detail #3: My final tip would be when describing your characters because you want them to stand out in the readers mind. That’s not to say they have to be giants with neon coloured hair, twelve piercings and walk around like the cast of stomp…although, no that’s a terrible idea, but they must be easily distinguished from the rest of your cast. Perhaps your main character has a distinguishing scar like Harry Potter, or maybe another character has a notable item of clothing that they always wear like a scarf, and perhaps they are distinguished by the way they move, such a man with a rolling gait due to a injured leg. There’s plenty of way to distinguish your characters from each other, and each of these examples also gives you an example to add some history to these characters, to get readers asking questions like: where did he get that scar?

That’s it for today, but as promised I will be back next week and I may well step up my posting a bit, because I might be going a bit mad and 50000 isn’t going to be trouble enough. Either way you can be sure to hear plenty from me when November hits, and until then keep an eye on the details.


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