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Day 18 and it’s all in the details

November 23, 2008

Today, for day 18 of my unofficial participation in National Novel Writing Month, I went back and started revising one of the middle chapters I just wrote. I had planned to do this later, but after looking at my original chapter plan, I found some fun ideas that I had forgotten and decided to put them in now.

It reminded me of one of the most important things when telling a story: Details.

I had forgotten this when I wrote these missing middle chapters. I was so focused on figuring out the structure, of how to join my already written beginning and end, that I forgot the details. No wonder I thought the chapters were bland.

When I started to put the details in, it started out slow, because I couldn’t see the scene properly in my head. I was missing the details. But once I got into my character’s head and started looking around the room, started thinking about all the cool things that could be going on during their conversation — inspired by what I had originally written in my chapter plans — the ideas came quickly and the story wrote itself.

Sometimes it’s not easy to remember details when we’re writing something for the first time because we’re so focused on just getting the story down. But without details, we can’t fully flesh out our story. And if we think about the details early on, it’s much easier to let the story flow.

What kind of problems do you have with your writing? Hopefully none!

Write On!

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