The Devil’s in the details, or not.

In writing novels, it is important to bring your reader into the story. You want them to empathize, or even loathe, your characters. Places and events that are important to the plot need to come alive. Much of this is in the showing, vs. telling, forcing the reader to become invested in the story.

With characters, it means hitting all of their levels: physical, emotional, mental, and even spiritual.

  1. She feared the caller on the other end was the killer. Nervously she put down the phone and wiped her brow.
  2. “Who is this? What do you want?” Her hand shook so violently the phone slipped from her sweaty palm. The crash on the tile floor echoed in the dark quiet room. She hesitated, stared at the object, once a source of connection to the outside world, now terrified her.  She swiftly grabbed the object and slammed it into the receiver. The renewed screech pierced the air, forcing her to press her palms over her ears.

DSC03205In this picture from Pere Lachaise Cemetery we see an old mausoleum. When we look closer:

DSC03206We see this. Two different pictures, so different, but all from the same spot. The aged stone, oxidized, looked dirty in the first picture, in the second it is haunting, ghostly, and unique. We are drawn into the detail of what is encompassed in the symbols on the burial sight. What legacy did the family want to leave their loved ones?

One can only guess what legacy these families were leaving behind. I’d love more details on them!!


Then you look in another direction, same cemetery, and there is no humor in what you see:

DSC03196 DSC03195 DSC03193 DSC03191 These are all memorials to death camps in Europe during World War II. They are haunting, moving, grotesque and beautiful. They evoked emotion in simplicity and horror.

Nature can add a little detail too:

DSC03221One of these three might be fun as the element of a short story inspiration.

DSC03209 DSC03204

The following graves have legacy’s to leave, and we know much of their lives. Books have been written, there is so much detail on their lives, it is as if we knew them. DSC03199Edith Piaf’s grave.   The next pictures are of Jim Morrison’s burial place. It is now blocked off because of all the  damage to it. DSC03215 DSC03213 DSC03218 DSC03217

Gertrude Stein- “A rose is a rose is a rose.” DSC03188

And here is how Oscar Wilde’s grave is kept, covered in plastic!  DSC03185

Like the graves and memorials at Pere Lachaise, our stories can be built on details, or simplicity. Words, as in poetry, can evoke emotion with less, but in our novels, we want more. We want to know the why’s and how’s and who’s.

Happy Halloween!

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