The Little Details

As I make my way through my second edit between living my life, I’ve noticed something is missing.

The little details.

I’m missing the little details. I have people dressed but in what? I have people entering a room but it’s empty. I have people in a car that was never described and dancing to music that isn’t acknowledged.

This is a bad thing, but it’s expected. When I write my original draft, I tend to skip the little details in favor of writing the story. My fingers fly across the keyboard and because they can’t keep up with what I want to say, the little details are left out. This isn’t always the case but it does happen. There will be naysayers out there that say “if you can’t write it properly the first time you’re not a good writer.”  Boo to them. Naysayers will do anything to bring me down and I don’t care what they say.

This book is so much fun and it’s very fast-paced. It happens in under two weeks. Because of the pace and excitement level, I did skip a lot of little details.

I don’t see this as a problem, now I have the opportunity to go back and fix what’s missing with a calm mind.

For example:

Original:

I rushed to get dressed and ran down the stairs to the busy street. I skipped my morning coffee. I would get one from the franchise near the office.

I hurriedly walked the six blocks north and dodged people too busy to care that they were in my way.

This needs some work. Now you don’t know the character or why she’s rushing, that’s not important for this example. Because word count is of little concern this time around, I can embellish without worry.

Corrected:

There was no thought to the grey pencil skirt I slipped over my hips nor the powder blue blouse I fumbled to button. I tore a pair of stockings in my haste and cursed until I had my blue flats on my feet.

After nearly tripping down my apartment stairs out to the busy street, I elected to skip my usual morning coffee from the little shop across the street. I needed to get to the office six blocks north. The sunny morning was an exercise in dodging people too busy to care that they were in my way.

Now she’s wearing specific clothes because this story is fast paced I try to keep track of what each character is wearing by having a day summary for each day in the story.

When putting in details like skipping the coffee, it’s an opportunity to set the mood for later or a moment when she might go to get one elsewhere. When editing it is easy to put in small details that can have a big impact. They are foreshadow’s on a small scale.

Finding the missed details can be a challenge, I’ll often have others read my story and let me know when they can’t imagine what a character’s wearing or doing or where they are exactly.

My advice about little details.
Fit them in without listing them off, have the character interact with the object or space you’re describing. Whether you put them in from the start or later when you edit, don’t forget to mention what kind of coffee someone is sipping.

-Sheryl

Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved

Other posts about details

Details, details, details

She’s a person not a cake

Dancing

Regarding Resolutions

Inspiration for this post came easy as we rang in the New Year and the word resolutions came up. The time of year when we make promises to ourselves and boast of them to our friends and families in hopes to guilt our way to keeping them. Kudos to those that can and do.

Resolutions in writing can be fun. Have a character make one and break it. The bigger the resolution the more fun the repercussions can be. I wouldn’t personally make it a huge part of the story, but just in the background, to promote comradery, character development

“So what’s your resolution Nina?”
Nina glanced over at her best friend Hanna who dragged her to this party in the first place. Traditionally she went to a much larger, much rowdier party in the city. This on wasn’t that small, but it was less than she was used to. There was one thing she had been meaning to stop.
“No more one night stands.” Nina nodded and sipped her champagne. There was about thirty seconds before midnight. It had been a fun night of dancing and flirting. The selection was tempting, but a good number of the men had attachments on their arms already. She narrowed her eyes at her friends chuckle.
“You wont last a month.” Hanna grabbed another glass of champagne from a waiter walking by. “I’m going to start making my own lunches.”
Both women laughed. Hanna hated cooking as much as Nina hated dating.
“Well.” Hanna grinned. “Time to find a single guy to kiss.” She turned and B-lined for a tall blond she’d been dancing with earlier.

The countdown began and standing alone in her slinky black and red dress, Nina boisterously counted down with the crowd.
“Happy New Year!” Nina sipped her Champagne and looked up to see an incredibly attractive dark-haired man she’d never seen before now before her.
“Happy New Year.” His lips curled in a stunning smile, he put his hands on either side of her head and leaned in.
Nina nearly dropped her glass as her body reacted instantly. She opened her mouth, he took the invitation and deepened the kiss. His right hand moved behind her back and pulled her closer as his left curled into her hair. It was obvious she wasn’t the only one turned on. She pressed closer as his hand gripped her buttock.
Breaking the abnormally intense kiss, she opened her eyes to stare into his lusty deep brown ones.
She swallowed hard . “So much for resolutions.”

A resolution doesn’t have to be a done on New Year’s Eve, if it can help a story along to have someone struggle as they restrain from smoking or eating pizza then why not add that mini strife? It can be a great way to showcase someones strength and resolve or their weakness and minor flaws?  Nobody’s perfect and perfect characters are boring. I love to make people struggle in my stories, this is one more way to illustrate that.

My advice about Resolutions.
I prefer to set goals, whatever your preference if you want to shake a character up a bit or show their weaknesses, let them break a small or large promise to themselves. Oh what fun you can have with the inner struggle of a character torn by indecision and guilt.

Happy New Year everyone! May 2017 be the year for dreams to come true.

-Sheryl

Some fun posts from… last year 😉

Blood

Sweat

+ Tears

Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved
Year

Crazy things

Rejection part two.

Life and what seems like millions of crazy things have me a little hurried this week. I don’t want to give less than my best, so I’ll share the next part of Sasha’s bar encounter right after walking away from Cal. I like this story and the characters, they are not from BiaAtlas but from a side project inspired by my using them as examples in my blog posts.

“What happened?” Valery did a little excited dance as Sasha set the tequila shooters down. “Yum, thanks.”
“Not my type and you’re welcome.” Sasha salted her hand and downed a shot. She glanced at Cal talking with a friend and watching her with interest as she sucked on a lemon wedge.
“Bullshit. He was perfect.” Valery downed a shot after licking the salt from her hand and sucked a lemon wedge. “Mmmm and gorgeous. He could be a model or movie star. Too bad he won’t even look my way. I wouldn’t brush him off.”
Sasha rolled her eyes as Anne ran up.
“Yay.” Anne licked, salted her hand and proceeded to do both shots at once. “I’m thinking of going home with Neil, that’s his name.”
A commotion on the other side of the bar area blocked their view of Cal.
“Anne you shouldn’t, he could be dangerous.” Sasha furrowed at her drunk friend.
“Pfft. The über serious insurance accountant. He’s boring as hell, but he has huge hands and feet.” Anne giggled. “Valery knows him.”
Sasha glared at her friend as she finished her second shooter. “Do you?”
“Yeah he’s my tax guy. I thought you might like Neil, but he’s into Anne and you’re about as fun as sandpaper panties tonight.” Valery shrugged and eyed Cal who stood with clenched fists, scowling and watched his attractive friend storm off and out of the bar.
“You’re impossible Val. Why can’t you just leave me alone?”
“Because Sash, you need to get back in the game. It’s been two years.”
“No! Really? I hadn’t noticed.” Sasha rubbed her temples as another man looked their way.
Anne half hugged her friend with one arm.
“What-ev Sash don’t you miss sex, like real sex?” She slurred slightly.
“Neil is looking for you.” Sasha pointed toward the dance floor. Anne kissed her cheek and ran off to dance. Sasha downed her second shot, checked on Cal who was still looking her way as a wiry yet muscular dark blond man approached. Attractive, but not her taste.
“Heads up Val, a dull-blue eyed suitor approaches for you.”
“Finally.” Valery looked around and spotted the man approaching. “Damn, super cute. But he’s looking at you not me.” She giggled as the man closed the distance.
“Evening ladies.” He drawled and smiled broadly.
“Well, well aren’t you a lovely sight.” Valery licked her lips and sucked a lemon wedge provocatively in a way only she could. Sasha resisted the temptation to roll her eyes.
He smiled at Valery then looked at Sasha and back. “I’m Baylor.”
“Ooh that’s an unusual name, rolls right off the tongue.”
Sasha glanced hurriedly at the exit. Valery was drunk enough that she could ditch her on the dance floor. They didn’t agree to go home together and if she thought she snuck out with this guy or another she’d be happy.
“I’m Val, and this is my sex starved friend Sasha.” She put her arm around Sasha’s shoulders.
“What do you lovely ladies do?”
Sasha knit her brows. The second man get right to conversation skipping the pick-up lines.
“I’m manage a design team.” Val smiled and put her hand on Sasha’s chest. “She, she’s a graphic designer, the very tip toppy best of the bunch.”
“So you’re a graphic designer?” Baylor looked at Sasha then Val. “Not you?”
“No sir, I manage, Sash creates. I’m drunk and need to dance big man, wanna take me for a spin?”
He looked her over and smiled. “I’d like to talk to your friend Sasha if you don’t mind.”
“Ooh, handsome and polite.” Valery put her mouth to Sasha’s ear. “I’ll be clicking my heels on the dance floor, come find me if you don’t take him home, but take him home.”
Sasha got up to follow Valery to the dance floor.
“Can’t we talk a moment? She can wait.” Baylor’s charming smile made her uneasy.
“No we cant. I’m not interested, I’m going to dance with my friend. Go find some other mark… Ah Baylor was it?”
“Yes Baylor. So where do you work?” He stepped in her way.
She pursed her lips catching a severe frown from Cal.
“Just a little chat, it won’t kill you.” He brushed his hand down her bare arm and she stepped back. If she managed a conversation long enough, she could leave unnoticed, and text Valery that she left once she was safely in a cab.
“Fine I’ll talk for a bit. Clifton designs It’s an alright company.”
“Was that so hard beautiful?” Baylor leered at her cleavage.
She swallowed her bile. “What do you do?”
“I’m in acquisitions and re-facing.”
Sasha cocked her head to the side and crossed her arms. “What is re-facing?”
“I find specific beautiful things and give them a new look.”
“Why?” She had no idea what he was talking about. It sounded like a fake job.
“To make them better of course.” He shrugged. “I’ve yet to find the perfect one. I think my next job will be a new style to try.”
She looked over at Valery and Anne on the dance floor across the bar. They were being silly and slutty and she almost wanted to join them. She would have if it had been any other night.
“Let’s go dance.” He reached for her hand.
“No thank you.” She snatched it from him before he could kiss it.
“Come on, you look like you could be fun if you loosened up.”
“No.”
He reached for her again and she backed up. “Look Baylor, you seem like a… nice guy. I don’t date, I’m going home alone, and no I won’t give you my number nor will I take yours. It was interesting meeting you. Goodnight.” She turned to leave and he grabbed her arm.
“I’ll walk you out.”
She pulled her arm from his hand and saw her friends watching. Maybe they would back off if they thought she took him home. Why that was acceptable behavior to them, Sasha would never understand.
“Whatever.” She was overcome with the need to get away from the bar, the attractive man still watching her, this odd man grabbing at her and her pushy friends.
After giving her friends a double thumbs up, she walked out and Baylor followed. It didn’t matter, there were two bouncers and the street was well lit. Taxi’s were always waiting and she could scream if he tried anything. He was forward and too grabby.
She jumped in a taxi and looked to see Baylor standing on the sidewalk. He smiled and shrugged as she gave the driver directions and he pulled out from the curb. She didn’t see his face fall and eyes darken as he ground his teeth.

My advice today.
Sometimes life can get in the way of doing what you enjoy, don’t let it stop you. Sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s not. Do what is most important. If it’s not important and just a really big drat then side step it and get back on track.(I will)

-Sheryl

The first part of this bar encounter

Rejecting the rejected

Other fun posts.

Setting the mood

KISS your writing

Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved

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