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.
- She feared the caller on the other end was the killer. Nervously she put down the phone and wiped her brow.
- “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.
We 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:
Nature can add a little detail too:
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. Edith 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.
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.