Monday, February 11, 2008

MMWUC for February, 11, 2008

Class dismissed.

Exercise: Read yesterday's post about posing crime-related questions. Do so. Getting expert advise is like finding the correct verb. Exquisite.

Musing: I try to be as accurate as possible in my stories; however, I don't think a story can be perfectly accurate, especially police procedurals. The reader would probably get bored to tears if all the minutia were included. How do you decide what is enough detail and when it is too much?

4 comments:

FARfetched said...

Good question, but I think it depends on the writer, the genre, and the length of the story.

Of necessity, you *have* to leave out a lot of details in a short story, and even more so in flash fiction. Novels have the space for details, but the writer's intent has a lot to do with how well it works. If you're trying to draw the reader into the scene, it can work really well.

Nancy P said...

Man, I'm no good judge. I find that pages of details that make me snore really turn on a lot of other readers. But then, I don't watch CSI, either.

A deputy sheriff friend of mine used to vet my manuscripts. One time I said to him, "I'm always scared of making mistakes in police procedure." His answer? "Nancy, somewhere in this country, there are cops making the same mistakes. Don't worry about it."

I still worry about it.

paul lamb said...

Seems to me that the story itself should be your guide. Does the detail add to the purpose/theme/plot? How little detail can you give (for the procedure, the character's clothes, etc) to get the reader where you want him/her to be? The point is to tell your story, isn't it? Not to show off your research skills.

Rick Bylina said...

No, no, I want to show off my research skills. :-)

Actually, I think my experience, limited though it may be, is a damned if you do; damned if you don't scenario. Each reader has a tolerance for the details, some times I feel like I'm being overly detailed, and wham! Someone asks for more details.

Lately though, I'm trying to get sparse, but without luck. The writing doesn't look/feel like me.

Must mean I haven't found my voice. I keep looking, under the couch, in the closet, in the drawers in my desk, but it eludes me most days. I understand Tolstoy used to nail his voice to the bottom of a letter stamp.

Maybe I'll give it a try.