Guest Post: Using Details to Your Advantage

Please welcome Joanne Troppello, author of the newly-released Bella Lucia, to the blog!

 

Using Details to your Advantage

 

In my life, I’m a very detail oriented person. However, when I write, sometimes I forget about the details because I’m too excited to write the story. Details are very important—sharing too much information might bore the readers and not sharing enough could leave the readers dissatisfied, wanting to know more.

 

As with so many things in life I believe in finding balance in the usage of details in my books. I’m learning to meet in the middle and add more than what I did before because I was lacking in my presentation of the story.

 

 

Sophie absently listened to the girls’ conversation and sat down at the table. Her love of architecture and design drew her eyes up to admire the big arched windows close by. She liked the secluded area where the host seated them. She took a quick survey of the surroundings and noticed the ceiling, at least thirty feet high. Massive arched and squarewindows lined the parallel walls. The chandeliers sparkled beautifully and that light combined with the sunshine made a glorious sight.

 

Alexander came over and interrupted her thoughts. “This was the hot spot since the eighteenth century. I bet you didn’t know that.”

 

****

Admiring the great architectural design of the room, Sophie sat down at the table and absently listened to the girls’ conversation. Alexander came over and interrupted her thoughts. “This was the hot spot since the eighteenth century. I bet you didn’t know that.”

 

Which example do you think best utilizes detail? I’m sure we’d all agree the first one does. Without going on forever, the first example gives just enough detail to pull you into the scene; whereas the second example leaves you wanting to know more detail about the “great architectural design of the room.”

 

How can you utilize details to your advantage? You can be stingy with your details. What? Wait a minute, you say. I know I just got done sharing that you shouldn’t skimp on details. To clarify, you need to value each and every detail you include as if it were a gold coin. You don’t want to include details just to include them. Really, every word we write should have a good reason behind it for why it’s included in our novel.

 

So, if you want to tell the reader that someone is wealthy, should you write?

 

Jasper Jenkins was

 a very wealthy man.

 

Or would you go with option two?

 

Jasper Jenkins drove his BMW (or whatever other luxury car you’d like to include) up to the iron gatehouse and punched in the security code. The gate opened and he drove down the long, tree-lined private driveway. He came to a stop near the Italian fountain and exited the car just as Nigel, his butler, came rushing down the front steps to assist with carrying the luggage inside the sprawling mansion.

 

Remember that you are creating the movie or word picture in the reader’s mind. Of course, the reader will create his or her own picture while reading—but the point of being an author is to give the reader all the details he or she needs to see the picture you want him to see…in order to correctly portray every aspect of your story in the best possible way.

 

Where do you stand on details? When you read, do you like to know as much information as possible or do you think less is more? For the authors, do you load on the details in your books or keep it simple?

 

 

After being married for six years, Gwen and Lucas DeStefano are dealing with the pain of a childless marriage and trying to trust God for their future. On a weekend getaway to the Poconos, they attempt to relax and renew their marriage, but witness an event that turns their lives upside down. They see a body dump in the woods while they are on a hike and their lives become entangled in a web of suspense and God’s ultimate blessing in the form of a little baby girl, named Bella Lucia. Will Gwen learn to trust God with childlike faith and wholeheartedly accept His plan?

 

Det. Marc Abrams is assigned to the murder investigation of Sabrina Reysen and he will do whatever it takes to find her killer. He has his suspicions and is pleasantly surprised when he meets Samantha “Sam” Collins, the attractive US Marshall assigned to protect one of the witnesses in this case. Will Det. Abrams find the killer before it’s too late and is the attraction between him and Sam strong enough to survive?

 

Purchase Link for Bella Lucia

 

Joanne Troppello is an author of romantic suspense novels. She has published three books: Shadowed Remembrances, Mr. Shipley’s Governess and Bella Lucia. Currently, she is working on her new writing project, The Paradise Redeemed Series. Joanne is married and loves spending time with her husband and family.She enjoys interacting with readers at The Mustard Seed Blog.

 

Author Contact Links

Joanne’s Blog: The Mustard Seed

Find Joanne on Facebook

Find Joanne on Twitter

13 Comments

  1. Hi Joanne, I love details but not so many a reader gets confused or gets taken out of a story. As for organizing them and keeping them straight (e.g. for my eight-book series), I am Absolutely Horrible at it. Grrrrr.
    Too much right brain.

  2. Sprinkling the details with a light hand the way you do allows the reader to experience the details when and how the characters do. This keeps the reader involved in the story instead of pausing to look upon a paragraph of scenery description. Great examples. And this looks like a wonderful story.

  3. Tanya and Lisa, thanks to you both for stopping by. I agree, that there needs to be a balance with the details. Just the perfect amount to paint the picture, but not too much that a reader gets confused or overwhelmed.

  4. Lindsay, thanks for stopping by. In my first few books, I didn’t use enough details like I should have. Though I think writers, just as their books, are a work in progress. I’m always trying to learn and improve in my writing.

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