Things with Wings. The Detail that Makes Your Writing Fly. #MFRWAuthor #IAN1

Grabbing a reader’s attention is all about hooking her emotionally. Prying beneath the surface as she scurries along from sentence to sentence and page to page. Hitting her where she truly lives – in her heart.

We do that first and foremost by creating a main character about whom the reader not only cares but cares very much. So much so that she begins to behave as if this character were a real-life human being.

Red Jeep 1The reader roots for your character to succeed and dreads that she may not. When such rooting and dreading happens your reader is engaged on an emotional level with your story and that engagement keeps her eagerly turning pages all the way to The End.

Meanwhile, beyond this deftly drawn main character, lies another engaging element of great storytelling. An element that compels your reader to stop short for an instant in her pell-mell plunge through your plot to be hooked yet again by the Deeply Felt Detail.

This detail draws your reader to a particular moment in your story and holds her there to experience a flash of connection. She recognizes the essence of what you have written. She responds at an emotional level even if she doesn’t consciously understand why.

You’ve caught your reader on the hook of your deeply felt detail. But first you must experience that detail even more deeply yourself. Where do you find such resonance – moments, sights, objects, whatever they may be? You find them among your own deeply felt attachments.

For example, I feel such attachment to my red Jeep Wrangler. When I think about that vehicle my heart flies to a fond place, soft and warm and sentimental. Or it can fly more frantically to a place of terror. The difference depends on the circumstances of the scene.

Fond and tender if that scene is of my grandchildren filling the backseat with cookie crumbs and squabbling between bites. Frantic and fearful if that scene involves a wrong turn of the steering wheel that could send us hurtling to disaster.

I drive my red Wrangler onto the page and make my story fly straight into my reader’s psyche and most especially into her heart. I do that by revving my writer engine to the max on every drop of drama fuel this detail holds for me personally. I give it storytelling wings.

I possess a lifetime’s worth of emotionally potent details – moments, sights, objects, whatever they may be. You do also. Think back. Feel deeply. Engage your heart and your nerve endings in the search. Make a list. Then use those details in your writing and watch your stories soar.

Alice Orr –

– R|R

A Villain for Vanessa – Riverton Romantic Suspense Book 4 and my other books are available from Amazon HEREA Wrong Way Home – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Book 1 is a FREE EBOOK  there also.

6 thoughts on “Things with Wings. The Detail that Makes Your Writing Fly. #MFRWAuthor #IAN1

  1. Terrific advice for a writer. Think back to a moment when you were in a similar situation, or almost were. Maybe you never almost hurtled off a cliff in your Jeep. You might have felt that heart-hammering adrenalin rush doing something else entirely. But pulling in those emotions and writing them as visceral re-creations for your character is what great writers do.

    1. Dear Kayelle. Wow. This comment is as good as the coast. “…pulling in those emotions and writing them as visceral re-creations for your character is what great writers do.” That is the beating heart of what I meant to say. The importance of such resonant details can’t be overstated. In fact, I’m thinking about adding another post with a more specific exercise for “Dredging Up Details.” Thanks for your comment. Blessings. Alice

    1. Thank you Carol for your support. I truly believe that resonant details can make the difference between good writing and great writing. Good luck with your work. Alice

  2. I recently read a book by Louise Penny (highly recommend!) and one of her secondary characters, a crotchety old woman had a duck for a pet. She loved that bird, yet when someone else needed an boost from an emotional hell, she gave him her beloved duck.
    Talk about tears! Great, great writing.

    1. Hi Jacquie. That is a wonderful detail. The ones that make us feel something, especially when we feel deeply, are absolutely the best. Thanks so much for your comment. Alice

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