On Skipping a Post, Autumn Joys, and Essential Details…

Boy, is it tough to get back into a routine, even when I’ve only missed one post. So here we go, after a week in the Deep South. Well, deep for me, anyhow! Being with my friend Patti was a joy, not to mention her family…such CUTE grandchildren! My expectations of the weather were fulfilled, hot and muggy, and that proved true of my time in Columbia as well.

But I mo tell ya, honey, the weatherman lied about the temperature in Nashville. It was nippy down there at the Nashville Book Fair! But getting to meet my publisher at Wordcrafts Press and his wife (Mike and Paula Parker), plus several other authors with this company, was worth it. Making new contacts among those who braved the cold and rain to attend the fair–doesn’t get better than that.

So now, it’s back to Iowa,  where it SNOWED while I was gone…not typical for mid-October. Today, though, it’s in the sixties, and the glories of fall are visiting us once again.

A day like this calls for some rich vegetable soup simmering on the stove. OOPS that was before I added the zucchini…

Notice the color difference? This morning our writing group met at South Square here in St. Ansgar, and one discussion point fits here…the difference one small detail can make in our creativity. The addition of zucchini in this pot brightens the whole stew…gives more of texture to the overall dish. I could add some corn, which would also have its effect.

Now that I’m hunkering down with my World War II nurse’s story again, this principle applies. In the first drafts, I may not have taken time to add all of the “small” things…the seemingly insignificant quirks about locale, habits, or sounds and sights. But these elements become vital to the overall picture for a reader.

This type of editing equals fun for me…how can I make each scene stronger, each character more vivid, each challenge more of an obstacle? On Tuesday evening, I traveled to the Nora Springs Library for a book talk, and readers reminded me of some details I’d forgotten I included in the first book of Women of the Heartland. But they remember them…those details make a difference! (Click below for a peek at the series.)

Women of the Heartland

So many readers of In Times Like These agree on one point: Harold, Addie’s recalcitrant husband, should be shot! (His personality must shine through clearly!)

Creating believable characters–that’s what writing fiction is all about, and here I am, happy to be at it again.

2 thoughts on “On Skipping a Post, Autumn Joys, and Essential Details…

  1. Welcome back Ms. Gail! I cannot say that I missed you because I just met you virtually yesterday; but boy oh boy was that a lucky day. Sure enjoyed this morning’s post. You’re right; fiction or nonfiction, we should always go back to see what “ingredients” we missed. In my writing, yes I’m mostly a pantser with strong outliner tendancies, I find that after I’ve written in what I call “stream of consciousness”, I have to let my words simmer for a day or so. Then, I go back and can quickly identify how I can spice it up and improve upon it. Great point ma’am. God’s blessings…

    • Thanks for stopping by. When you say “a day or so,” I think “or a year or so!” Sometimes that’s how long it takes for me to go back a third or fourth time to a manuscript…by that time, it has so seeped into my being that the moral premise sticks out EVERYWHERE, and so do places where I’ve let the reader down. Always more work to do!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.