A couple weeks ago, I posted on The Importance of Clarity in writing. Another way to give your writing impact is to use good significant detail. Here's a great quote from the famous "little book of style."
"The Greatest writers...are effective largely because they deal in particulars and report details that matter. Their words call up pictures." -William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style.
The above quote tells a very important message: good writers report only the significant details, the ones that will give the reader a picture in their minds. They should also suggest some truth the subject. That's what makes them significant. This way, the images pack more powerful punches. People will understand exactly what we mean.
Lets aim to call up pictures with our words. When I describe something in my writing, I have to be careful not to just list things about it. Here's an example from one of my short stories:
The original: "He still grins confidently, but a blush creeps over his cheeks."
We get that the subject is embarrassed. Alright, that's fine.
The revised version: "He still grins, but his face tinges pink slightly, like my favorite flavor of jolly rancher--watermelon."Which example creates a clearer picture? This detail is significant as well, because it suggests that the narrator likes the image. It gives us a picture and interiority. In the first example, the writing doesn't convey that.
I hope the quote and my examples shed some light on what I mean!
Also, the bread-making class at the library was fantastic. Thirty-eight adults and teens learned how to make three different kinds of bread from our lovely teacher Amy!
|White bread to kneed. We also made a wheat bread to kneed and a kneedless wheat bread.|
|38 Adults and Teens (4 teen boys!), & 5 Kiddos|
Aaaaaand, the grand finale: the cinnamon rolls I made from the bread dough!
|They were so good, we ate some before I got to take the picture!|
Strunk Jr., William, E. B. White, and Roger Angell. The Elements of Style. 4th ed. Massachusetts:
Longeman, 2000. Print.