Tuesday, June 29, 2010

It's all in the details

Details are what make up good writing. Concrete, solid sensory details ground the reader and can pack a powerful wallop.

Consider the following two sentences:

She woke up and reached for him but he was gone.
She woke up and reached for him, but the sheets on his side of the bed were cool.

There is nothing wrong with either sentence. Both are grammatically correct. Both give you the facts. The second sentence has more of an impact. Why? Because of the detail: the sheets were cool. The reader can see her reaching  and can feel the cool sheets. The second doesn't just say that he's gone, but illustrates his absence.

It's harder to come up with sentences that contain good sensory details. But it is well worth the effort.

1 comment:

  1. Ridiculously pleased that I instinctively preferred sentence two - phew! Now to transfer that to my writing...