Description, detail and the worlds they create have been on my mind this week. While I realize the importance of description, I do agree with many commenters who have noted the difficulty of balancing details with action. I agree that if details are not adding up to something, going somewhere or showing some connection to perspective, they may just be a drag.
When done well though, those details are what I remember about a piece. Those details make the writer unique for me and make it all concrete in my mind because I am not that cerebral a thinker I guess. For me, thought is always connected to place and space and people, not ideas and theories.
Don’t get me wrong though. I do care about ideas. It’s just that the universe of details of the piece is the body of the idea for me. What I see and hear and feel I connect as the idea. I don’t like to be told what the idea is.
Inkeeping with today’s thoughts, two great blogs I’ve been following off and on have been on my mind. If you like descriptions, detail and some great reads, here they are:
Valerie Davies’ blog has been a great pleasure to read. She writes of ocean foam, of wind-swept cliffs, of old manors, of the countryside, of flowers in bloom, of birds and what seems a picturesque life in a remote location. When I checked her “About” section, I saw that her life has been as full of adventure as the stuff she writes about. She ends her pieces with the description of a food item she made, usually fresh and a fresh food for thought. Here’s a recent post from her blog that I liked: Storms of Delight.
Tell Me Another is a blog I consider myself lucky to have chanced upon. The blog does not reveal much about the author except that she, Josna Rege, is going to tell stories. The structure of the blog is somewhat randomized perhaps to emulate some kind of spontaneity of the sequence of stories of the author’s life experiences as they come. She seems to have lived in at least three continents (India, England and the US), is well-read in British literature and children’s books amongst other things (I can tell) and has both an analytical and a creative mind. Here’s a great example about her high-school teacher: Remembering Mrs. Metzger.
I am lucky to have found these two people in the randomness and noise of the blogosphere.