The Details Make the Difference

The Details Make the Difference

P1000726One of the joys of producing a book about writing, Writing for Children and Young Adults, Self-Counsel Press,  is the continual contact I get with authors. Experienced authors contact me to talk about writing; new authors contact me to learn more. They all have an enthusiasm for expressing themselves, telling stories, pushing ideas that is infectious. I love the details that authors can find to put into their work. Ngaio Marsh’s attention to detail in Artists in Crime fascinates me. “The tall Fijian with dyed hair. The hair was vivid magenta against the arsenic green of a pile of fresh bananas. He trapped and held the pattern of it. Then the brown face beneath, with liquid blue half-tones reflected from the water,  …The design made by the feet on wet planks.” The pictures is so clear I sometimes feel I’ve been on the boat pulling away from Suva (the first page).Writers, interesting writers, give us the details of a world we may know or may not know but when we know told he within particular world, we find a writer’s observations the details of that world, fascinating. I feel I know the streets of Melbourne because Kerry Greenwood described the way the sun lit the alley in front of Corinna Chapman’s bakery, the way the cats sauntered off to collect their fish trip from the nearby shop owner and who was travelling past her. “Persons in suits briefcases passed,  heads glued to shoulders as they whispered urgently on mobile phones—“ p 22 Devil’s Food  It’s the details that matter, and writers observe, record and interpret those details. Fashion in writing and reading change so the densely packed details of the 1940s have morphed into tighter, sparser sentences, but we try to pack in the details. They are what makes the scene come vividly to our readers. Teh photo is of the beach near Tofino where waves, sky and wind seem to create the winter atmosphere that demands a description. I’ll use it in a novel one day.