The Wise Novelist

Visuals – The Devil Is In The Details

I’ve been told that my writing is very visual. That may be because I’ve never envisioned actual words in my head when I write (which would also explain my horrific spelling and grammar.) I see a video playing in my mind – like it’s being projected on the inside of my forehead – and I see and hear the characters talking. I watch a scene play out before me and don’t actually remember actually transcribing what I see into words. I see the characters interacting and hear them speaking and when I look outside of my head at the end of that morning’s process there are words on the screen before me. I never know where it is going to come from or where it is going to take me and I am always thankful when I sit before the keyboard that the film always begins.

There are those moments where I will see something play out in my head and actually think to myself, “Holy shit, didn’t see that coming!” or “Oh, no!”

And while this is all playing out before me, sometimes something appearing on my inner screen catches my attention. A detail. A glance between characters. A bead of sweat or a tear. A touch. Something that binds me to a moment. It’s almost like the scene slows down and my internal narrator says “Pay attention Tommy, I don’t want to repeat myself.”

It’s those details that allows the reader, viewer or listener to be in the moment with you. It’s like you’re sitting with someone else witnessing an occurrence, and they lean over and say, “Did you see that?”

It puts you in the moment.

And that is where everything happens. In the moment. In the here and now.

Those tiny details are like the anchors on a mountain climb. Something the reader can tether themselves to.

So, the devil is in the details when you write something and if you want others to feel part of what you write, you need to allow them on the inside by leaving them the details to find when they read.

Well, I’ve got some details I need to attend to. Mules banging at my back gate demanding their second breakfast.

If you need a visual, go find my FB page, where I’ve posted some videos.

But the photo at the top of the story is a tiny detail, an inspiration, which sits on my dusty desk, which now brings you into my writing room, during these early hours, so you are with me as I type this.


Today is a recyclable Thursday, and I have bags of paper, glass and tin to shift out front.

So I better get to it.

But first my kitty cuddle and my rounds.

You fine, five readers go do what you need to do today, so tomorrow can be Friday.

And make today a great one.

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