Writer, Remember This: Details Matter

While I was on my journey writing and putting together my book Stuck, I’ve learned a lot from my advisors, professors, and fellow writers. Information that nearly blew me away when I thought I already knew everything about writing. Let me remind you now, it’s okay to learn something new every day.

Today, I want to focus on something small but major when it comes to writing a story or a book. Whether you know this fact or not, I encourage you to practice – practice – and practice! Details matter!

Describing a scene or a character can be tricky sometimes but it’s good to jot down the most relevant details you would like your readers to remember. Then focus on including the five senses: Sight, Touch, Sound, Taste, and Smell. You may use them interchangeably.

Take this example right here, describing a person entering a train station.

I walked into the train station already busy with people going about their day. I slowly chewed the last piece of my Hershey Bar, wishing I had bought another one. I unbuttoned my jacket to allow my body to breathe in the station’s warmth and went to find a seat. A train screeching on its tracks echoed through the large space, joining the thunder of footsteps along the shiny marble floor. A lady rushed by me, granting me the unwanted privilege of her smoking habit. Two children laughed as they chased each other around a row of chairs, their parents too deep in a whispering argument to notice.

Let’s point out sentences and phrases that would be considered as one of the Five Senses.

“…already busy with people going about their day”

A train screeching on its tracks echoed through the large space, joining the thunder of footsteps along the shiny marble floor.”

“A lady rushed by me…”

“Two children laughed as they chased each other around a row of chairs, their parents too deep in a whispering argument to notice.”

SIGHT – You can visualize this.

“I unbuttoned my jacket to allow my body to breathe in the station’s warmth and went to find a seat.”

TOUCH – You can feel your body breathing in the station’s warmth.

“A train screeching on its tracks echoed through the large space, joining the thunder of footsteps along the shiny marble floor.”

“Two children laughed…”

“…whispering argument

SOUND – It’s quite loud in this place.

“I slowly chewed the last piece of my Hershey Bar…”

TASTE – I think I want one now.

“A lady rushed by me, granting me the unwanted privilege of her smoking habit.”

SMELL – Now that had to be a strong odor.

Writing a story would mostly rely on Sight because you have to paint the scene for your readers to visualize. Once you’ve created the foundation of the scene using a noun (a person, place, or thing) then you include the other senses to broaden the scene.

Try and mix up the five senses into creative ways so you can pull your readers into the scene with the character and to also help your readers to relate. I must say, after writing and reading about that Hershey Bar, it definitely made me think of sweet memories eating one. Perhaps, I will get one later.

And remember to always have fun writing and observe everything and everyone every chance you get.

Thank you for reading,

Please let me know in the comments or liking this post if this advice was helpful.

Have an awesome day!

From LeQuita C. Harrison

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