You don't have to be a gun expert to write about guns. In most cases, you're actually better off being as non-specific as possible. Getting into a lot of details about actions and calibers and so on is a sure-fire way to put most of your readers to sleep. When details matter, though, it's important to get them right. Failing to do so can turn readers off to your writing.
By Annette Lyon Imagine that you’re reading an Agatha Christie novel. In the last chapter, Poirot calls the cops, tells them who committed the murder, and goes on his way, saying that of course everyone knows why Jeremy Jones is the one being carted off to jail. After your confusion clears, you’d probably hurl the … Continue reading The Art of Dropping Breadcrumbs
How many times do you find yourself in a waiting room, on a bus, sitting outside a restaurant waiting for the rest of your party . . . and to pass the time, you pull out your phone. You might be thinking it's the perfect opportunity to catch up on social media or to shoot off some … Continue reading Mindful Details: Paying Attention to the World Around You
Last weekend I attended the Charlotte Huck Literary Festival in Redlands, California. It’s a book festival specifically for teachers, librarians, and writers, with a very strong focus on poetry. One of the faculty members there was George Ella Lyon, author of the following poem: Where I'm From I am from clothespins, from Clorox and carbon-tetrachloride. … Continue reading Getting to Know Your Character Through Poetry
It is said that both the devilish and the divine can be found within the details. This is especially true when it comes to good storytelling, where details can make or break a story. The tips herein will help you focus on the right details so as to enrich your reader’s experience, and not overwhelm … Continue reading Details, Details
Do you feel like you are being held hostage by your dreams to write? What exactly is holding you up anyway?Personally, I can name a few too many.To start off, I took way too long to pick the name of my blog. I mean really, I wasn’t naming a child and I didn’t have my … Continue reading How to Avoid Hold Ups in Your Writing
Recently I sat in a workshop with a Big Deal writer who happened to also be my teacher. And at some point as he listened to every student read their work, he’d get super excited about one thing: an authenticating detail. There’s an excellent piece by Dave Koch on the subject here, but basically, it’s … Continue reading Authentication Required