May 13 Writing Prompt

Details, details, details. That is what we are on about today.

When you hear talk about details, you probably react like most aspiring authors. You want to equate details with adjectives.

This isn’t always the best course of action, though. You can add details to your stories, scripts and novels without fluffing it out with 20,000 adjectives.

One thing you can do is add nouns to the story. Details come in all kinds of shapes, sizes and types. Having extra nouns doesn’t always detract from your story and today we are going to practice doing just that.

Nouns are people, places and things. Or in this case, things that are people in a place.

You want to be careful and not overplay your hand. As with most things here, there is a fine line between adding details to accentuate your story, and adding so much fluff that you remove the reader from the tale.

Reader engagement is crucial to any story and if you want to write the best, you need to find where that line is, approach it with abandon, but never cross it.

Let’s practice doing that, now.

May 13

Write a story about a boy waking up and getting ready for school. Use more nouns and less adjectives will still drawing the reader in and painting them a wonderful scene.

Here’s the rub. Writing a new scene is fun and exciting, but there are “rules” that you need to follow.

You want to engage the reader and this should always be the number one thing on your mind. Get them to care, make them a part of it.

Second, you want to give them enough about the scene that they click on the little movie projector in their mind.

You also want to ensure that everything in your scene is important enough to be there. If it isn’t important to the story and doesn’t move it forward, then you need to delete it.

So, how do we do all of this without fluffing out the scene with too many adjectives?

For today, you will use nouns.

So, when little Timmy gets out of bed, he may stub his toe on the night stand, or have to remove a top sheet, blanket and comforter.

What he doesn’t need to do, though, is stub his toe on a 3-foot tall night stand with a small pull out drawer that contains larger crayons and a red flashlight.

Once you get the hang of it, it will become easier. Practice, practice and let us know in the comments how it worked out for you.

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