This is a guest post by author Sandra Gallimore
This guest article is geared toward people of any age who have a passion for writing, but I hope everyone will find something meaningful in it. Something they can use in writing, speaking, let’s face it, any kind of communication. I have so often heard people say they want to write but don’t know what to write. And most people have heard the experts say…write what you know. This leads to wasted hours, weeks, and years while it is pondered. Then again, if one just starts writing without pondering what it is you want to say, how effective is that going to be?
I’d like to share what has helped me over and over again. It does not necessarily help your book sell but when it does sell it must hold your readers attention. I have said before, and now again, you can only write about love and emotion so long unless you know something new the rest of us don’t. I have been fortunate to have the time, and family,to be able to travel as I got older. What a world out there is waiting for the would-be writer! I can hear you now saying that not many people are that lucky, and you are so right. But wait. We have the world at our fingertips with books and the internet available twenty-four seven. And this is the secret that is not so secret. Detail, that is what makes your writing interesting. And realize most people have great detail in their lives-they just don’t look for it. Detail you get from seeing the world in person, and reading about it. You can’t know how long and beautiful the red velvet curtains were in Kensington palace, but I stood there and ran my hands over a piece of history. These were the same curtains that Queen Victoria touched as she grew up there one hundred and fifty years ago.. I touched the walls of the Tower of London as I walked up the narrow winding stairs that knights and kings had traversed for a thousand years.And the Asmodius devil holding up the holy oil in The church of Mary Magdalene, the massive marble walls in St. Peter’s, the white lace made for centuries in Burano and Venice, the hand made glass in Murano, the same stone streets people walked in Pompei before 79 A.D. Details, that will make your characters stand out, and your readers transfixed. You can read about all these places and many more, just as all writers do. If they traveled all the time there would be no books. Not only that but you can have the same sensual experience just reading about mine-and other writers. And I am sure you have already figured that the more one reads the better their writing will be. Back to the details-they don”t have to be big, in fact the smaller the better-the taste of the stew, the smell of the smoke as someone is burned at the stake is even more effective than the act itself. We have all seen too many films of such things but to read the detail is horrifying. The color of blue being worn, the wind in the hair peppered with hail stinging the face, the physical feeling of someone being grabbed. Small, but important. So important that you, the writer, might even solve the question of what to write with just one detail you read, or write yourself. That is the fun of writing and not the drudgery. That is when the adrenaline flows and the words appear. And that also is when you look at what you write in disbelief-that you, YOU, created something important. All it took was a little detail at the right places. That detail appears where ever you are every day of the big wide world. Jot it down. You’re sure to find a place to use it and it will make your story light up for the reader.