Lindsey R. Loucks

Author of Romance and Other Scary Things

I Just Spilled the Secret Ingredient All Over Myself

In Donald Maass’s Writing the Breakout Novel, he says the secret ingredient in setting description is detail. I would be a fool to disagree. Stories that describe the coffee percolating, the knife smeared with strawberry jam on an otherwise empty counter, and the woman running back and forth to the refrigerator in her rainbow toe socks draw you in. You see everything! While every single detail isn’t necessary and would bog down the story, picking three to five tiny details that stand out in the room will help the reader get a crystal clear visual.

So, I’m trying to do this in my own writing. Just yesterday, I wrote a scene in a room with one slanted bookshelf, an office chair with wheels, and a buzzing overhead light with a moth flitting around inside it. Hopefully those specific items will paint a clear picture for the reader. I’ll find out when it gets critiqued. 😉

On a slightly unrelated note, I have clam chowder cooking in the crock pot right now. I came home from work to add the not-so-secret ingredient (milk) and managed to spill most of it all over myself. Ah, Mondays…

3 Comments

  1. Cool. I love how you describe your details. You bring things to life!

    I posted another short in J’s Sandbox today 🙂

    Watch that milk–it’s swippery!

  2. I’d say there’s no point crying over spilt milk, but it turns out tears are an excellent solvent for getting milk out of clothes. Who knew?
    regards
    mood
    Moody Writing

  3. Lol, Garfield would agree.
    And great detail examples!

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