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WIP Talk: Small Details

I thought I was pretty much finished with my novella. I got my notes back from one of my friends and after discussing it with them, I was able to recognize that I needed to add in some key information that I didn’t know was missing.

I also recently read this article written by C.S. Lakin, “10 Important Things Writers Omit from Their Scenes” that talked about what authors tend to miss when they write and it touched on a lot of things my friend noticed. After reading through the notes and this article I knew that I had to make those changes.

Now I’m going through and trying to see if I can add in those little details. I’m happy about doing this because it’s also increasing my word count and I made a personal goal of reaching 20,000 words for this novella. Any shorter and it wouldn’t be a novella.

I’ll list the details that were missing and what I’m doing to fit them in below.

It's always the small pieces that makes the big picture
– Unknown

What do the characters look like and how does it change throughout the course of the story?

I did put in the generic descriptions of each of my characters, but I didn’t put in the details of their eyes, the hair, etc.

My friend pointed out that it would make the characters more relatable if the readers could get a better understanding on who they were.

I’ve been working on adding in more details about their looks and how it evolves throughout the story. Especially with this involving mental health issues with one of my characters, I feel that the change of looks is important to point out.

Where and when does this take place?

I wasn’t aware that it was necessary to do this. I did hint at my story taking place close to the end of the school year and that it was in a small town, but it was missing the bigger picture: an overall setting.

My friend and I talked it about it in length and she told me that it was ultimately up to me to decide whether or not I wanted to have the readers know concrete details about the setting, or have them just imagine an area.

After reading through the story, I felt that adding in a little bit more details in regards to these two things would help glue the story together more and make it feel more real/ authentic.

How does the character feel, what do they smell/hear/touch?

This was something that I was really lacking. Especially in the opening scene of my novella. At first, I was just putting in superficial details, but after looking through it, I noticed that we weren’t getting the whole idea of what the character was going through.

I’ve been adding in the details of the senses, slowly but surely.

***

The more I read through and edit, the more excited I get about it. I’ve been putting in a lot of work these past few months and it’s really starting to read like a story.

I feel like these details are easy to miss when you’re writing because in your mind you already know where it’s taking place or how the characters are feeling/seeing/smelling. The big thing is letting the reader know what you know. I think while you’re rewriting and editing that should be in the back of your mind. It’ll help in the long run when you end up sending it to an editor. They won’t come back with a laundry list of things to fix and you’ll be on your way to publishing faster!

Thanks for reading!

-Emi

***

What kind of details do you feel that you miss whenever you write?

Tell me in the comments below!


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