Thursday, January 12, 2006

Together at The Wal-Mart

Well, I'm going to ruin the theme the Playground's had for the last several days. Although this post isn't about friendship is is most definitely about appreciating the ones you love. So I suppose it could be loosely tied in.

The other night DH and I decided we wanted to have some together time with our girls doing something fun. It was Friday night - no school, no work, and no alarm clocks to worry about in the morning. Did we decide to take our girls to the zoo, the park, even the newly opened Chuck E. Cheese at our mall? Heck no! We took them to Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart? You might ask. Yep, we needed eggs and a new frying pan (the last one bit the dust when we tried to cook eggs the last time, ruining both our dinner and the pan - don't ask :-) But let me tell you my oldest (Sweet Pea) was skipping through the parking lot on our way inside. She was so excited to be going shopping with mommy, daddy, and baby girl. We all had fun (until she pitched a fit on the way out again but she is four so can be forgiven a few temper tantrums here and there).

It was such a small thing but it meant so much to her. It isn't that we don't do things together as a family on a regular basis. We do all the time - although shopping isn't usually one of them becuase of the hassels involved with taking two small children inside a store.

So what might you ask does this have to do with the price of tea in China? It's a reminder that the little things do count - in our life and in our writing.

In fact, the little things are often more important than the big things. Because we plan and obcess over the big things - the major turning points. That first kiss. The first love scene. The black moment. But adding in those little things enriches the major moments within the story.

It's the touch of your hero's hand on your heroine's shoulder as he walks by her in the office hallway. It's the smile they share across a crowded room. It's the fact that your heroine's mind wanders to the hero during the boring morning conference call. Or that your hero mentions this new woman he's met to his mother. All of these moments would take no more than a mention, a sentence, in your story but I think you can see how much they might enrich the experience for your reader. Whatever the small details are, they're significant for your characters and helpt make those people real to the reader. The things I mentioned are all moments we remember our husbands/boyfriends/signifant others doing for us over the years (or in those first dating years) and wish they would do again.

They're also things, details, layers that make our characters real and 3 dimensional.

Remember the little things in your writing and in your regular life. They can make all the difference in the world.



blueberri said...

Thanks for the great tips on layering. I am finally recognizing how to do this and am grateful for this tip. :)

Angel said...

This is so true, Insitgator. I often forget this as I worry over whether I've timed that first love scene correctly or made sure to tie all my threads together.
And it does come down to layering. I often go back through my first drafts and add in detail and texure, sensory details or bits of dialogue and thoughts. In the end I have a much richer story because of it.