Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Inspiration from Details

Laziness is my besetting sin. I'm so good at it, that I can look busy while doing nothing. Yet, I have also learned the art of doing something while doing nothing. I don't just mean cross-stitch while watching a movie. I mean turning late night TV into inspiration. It helps with the guilty feeling that says I should be writing.

This time, it was CSI (Las Vegas, of course) season 12. I was *clears throat* evaluating Ted Dansen's new character, when he shared this story. Police officers were at the scene of a car crash involving several cars and a horse, who was badly injured. One of the officers felt sorry for the animal and was going to put it out of its misery. The bullet ricocheted and wounded a fellow officer. When the sheriff was being given the report of what happened, his first question was, "What color was the horse?" Of all the law enforcement personal on the scene, no one could remember or had it recorded. The point was to notice and document the smallest details, because you never know what might be important. *jump/roll off the couch to scribble a note*

Kimberley Griffiths Little has this post on her 3x5 card system for plotting. Getting organized is essential in not letting those details escape! I wish that I had done this with all my Magicless WIP. I have been slowed down by trying to work out/adjust my plot. Every stray sentence, scene, setting written down and reorganized would maybe work better for me than my more vague 123 abc outline. Hmmmmm....

How do you organize your details? What little details have you later realized were important?


  1. "Laziness is my besetting sin. I'm so good at it, that I can look busy while doing nothing." You've just described my every day at work.

  2. Oh man, if I had any problem with my first novel, it was mixing up details. I know better now - for one, every eye/hair color is recorded before I even start. it has to be! :)

  3. @Bethany Elizabeth
    I'm looking into note taking programs like Microsoft OneNote and Evernote to help keep all my pictures, video clips, detail notes and everything organized...otherwise it's on a corner of a notebook or the back of a gas receipt!

  4. @Joshua
    Yeah, I figure just keeping the two year-old corralled and adding a few cells to the newby makes me look even busier ;)

  5. I don't organize my details well at all. I do a lot of writing by hand in journals. This means that I'm constantly flipping back through tons of of pages of my bad handwriting trying to find that one detail. Sigh. I'm working on it though. I use 3X5 cards for plotting, maybe I should start using them also for details.

  6. Hi Jenna, thanks for mentioning me here on your blog (I'm honored!), and I am really happy my post helped you, too! Yay for 3x5 cards! They're like my security blanket . . . :-)

  7. i usually carry a little notebook around with me during the day and jot down ideas or phrases that come into my head. I always remember this one saying from .... i don't remember who....but it goes something like this, writers notice the invisible details that other people miss every day. to notice, one must be looking... very good post, thank you for sharing :)


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