Becoming a Detective

A few years ago, I finished the first draft of Vitamin F and I started noticing things about people.  There were little details everywhere, things I thought would be good to include in my writing.  I was fascinated by all these little details, then I realized something shocking:

All the little details were clues, hinting toward something else.  It’s never the same from one person to the next, but the little things can paint a more complete–and interesting–picture of who a person is.It seems a bit Holmesian, being able to pick apart details and learn things about people.  Sure, I could list examples like how the grumpy woman chasing three kids through the bookstore is sexually unsatisfied since she’s buying a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey.  I could talk about the slight distance between two young women who walk in step and share slight glances with each other.  I could talk about a lot of things.

The point is that there are a number of elements that shape human behavior, each one of them doing their part to shape a complete individual.  It shouldn’t be hard to add these little brushes, simple things that solidify what a person thinks, feels and believes, even on a minute level.  As a writer, I owe it to anyone who reads my work to emphasize the interactions and thoughts of each character, even if I only do it through small details.

Because any good detective will tell you that small details make the case.


2 thoughts on “Becoming a Detective

    1. Short fiction has to get on with things much faster than long-form fiction. Novels need to use subtlety more to create the broader sense of the setting, characters, even the plot.

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