The Devil in the Details

മലയാളം: Charcoal Iron Box for ironing the clothes

മലയാളം: Charcoal Iron Box for ironing the clothes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This week I am ironing out details, smoothing and improving sentences one at a time. Looking for clarity can be tedious, but the rewards are huge. At least huge in the I-am-a-nerdy-writer-looking-for-improvement huge.

Example:

I am going to the beach.

Okay, now close your eyes for 5 seconds and imagine what I just wrote. Really.

What did you picture? A hot Cape Cod beach in August with bay water undulating in swells to a rhythm that lulls you to sleep? Or, I know several of you imagined the blue-green Caribbean waters, as well as a cocktail inside a coconut shell adorned with a little umbrella.

What if I wrote this instead:

It’s February 2nd in Portland, Maine, and I am going to the beach.

There goes the little umbrella! And my itsy bitsy teenie weenie bikini just turned into a North Face Parka, and my shell-colored sandals into Smart Wool socks and Kamik boots.

How about this:

I sleep on my side of the bed. vs. I still sleep on my side of the bed.

Subtle change in word structure can mean vast consequences for the character. Did she lose her mate? Did they break up, or was it something more permanent?

Yup. Looking for, and straightening out wrinkles is my job this week. (And maybe finding a little umbrella at the end as well.)

What’s yours?

 

 

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3 Responses to The Devil in the Details

  1. Barb says:

    Can you even imagine using that iron? OMG, I would spend half the day getting it hot and the other half burning holes in my clothes or whoever was lucky enough to get me to iron.

    I will be tweaking pottery this week in preparation for Lowell Open Studios. A 2 day city wide event. I’ll be re-firing a few pieces to see if I can achieve a little bit more of the result I hoped for. Of course cleaning the studio in preparation as well.

    Good luck with the ironing!

  2. reigning champion says:

    I actually want that iron.
    I wish I had some art or writing that was at the “I only need tweaking” phase. Mostly it’s all just getting started. The one thing that I do have close to done is my self-design. The Academic Council will review it this Friday…

    I would like an iron like that though- so cool!

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