Monday, February 4, 2013

Do Sweat the Small Stuff (Inspirational Monday)

In trying to improve my writing, I've been focusing on details. My mind naturally deals in platitudes and generalities. This was my pitfall as I wrote. So I've been retraining my mind to look for the small stuff.

I read in my current study of the craft that you must pull the reader outside their mind and into yours. I can't try to make connections with their experience, I have to make it so they make connections with mine. This can only be done with rich and vivid details.

For example I can say that Texas is a great place to live. This may be true but it does nothing to relate that feeling to the reader. For that I have to fall to the details. I have to talk about sitting in and old wooden Adirondack chair and watching my two Australian cattle dogs running around the back yard chasing squirrels up the pecan trees. I'm amazed by the sixty degree weather as I sit in the backyard with the sun warming my face. Sure the summers in Texas can be brutal, but is there a better way to spend January anywhere else?

The other thing I get out of focusing on details comes from the wide open possibilities it opens. When I focused on how great Texas is as a place to live, I tend to look for things that fit that mental state. I'm cornered into a box and that's all I'll see. Where as if I start with details, it can go in any direction.

So I'm inspired by details and the fact that now that I'm looking for them I see so much more of the big picture.