Little Things

Okay, so I have two choices here. I could fall all over myself apologizing for disappearing for a week. Or I could ramble some more about writing. I think I'll go with the writing, since apologies have never been a strong suit of mine. I get all sullen and awkward and I really feel like an immature person. I'm working on it. Anyway.

Lately I've been obsessing about details. Not story details which I've already talked about before, like your character having a little sister or a talent for drawing. Maybe details isn't the right word for it. In my current W.I.P. I've been unusually focused on actions.

For example. Susan tucked her hair behind her ear. John scratched his nose. Marie rolled her eyes. Those little things that make a scene more real. I think that I may be overdoing it just a little in my writing of late. I've used one more than once because I like it so much, in fact, and I'm trying to get out of the groove, so to speak.

But I do think they're an important element to a story. It's better to have too many details rather than not enough. Those little things really help a reader to picture the scenes, get inside the story and stand beside the characters. Not only are they good imagery, but they reveal aspects of a character. A girl tucking her hair behind her ear with downcast eyes might hint that she's shy. A boy shoving his hands in his pockets might indicate that he's feeling awkward. A woman chewing her lip might show that she's worried.

These little things - though they seem so little - are important.

What are your favorite details? Which ones have you caught yourself using more than once?