Story is in the Details

I’m down to a lot of nitty-gritty editing with my current book, examining every nook and cranny of my story, characters, and setting. In the end, I want the small things to count as much as the big ones because when I think about my favorite books (and other media) it’s often details that hook me or keep me interested. I’ve narrowed it down to three categories that matter the most to me. Want to know what they are and why they matter? Thought you might. Here they are in no particular order:

Character details. Quirks. Surprises. Mannerisms. Interests. Tastes. Isms. When I like a character, I eat up all these details and more. I can’t really explain why, but I turn into a bit of a stalker. Call it human nature if you will but I always want more in this department.

Setting details. I have a thing for describing settings, especially outdoor settings. And wouldn’t you agree that a few well-chosen images ground you in a scene? You don’t need to know everything, but the right amount can quickly transport you.

Historical details (if applicable). Since I’m writing around a historical setting right now, this is on my mind. While no one wants to lose the story in too much detail, it’s good to know enough about homes, clothing, transportation to feel like you’re right there with the characters.

That’s my take. I’m sure you have your own favorites. What story details matter to you and why?


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