The Missing Bits

It’s not fair! I went on a personal writing retreat and while I was gone, all the lovely fall colours that had barely begun to emerge before I left, arrived and departed again.

In late October, for instance, the leaves of our ‘Bloodgood’ Japanese Maple tree were their usual deep burgundy. While my back was turned, they turned… and fell. All that glorious colour is now merely a blood red puddle on the ground. I missed the best part of the show.

While I was pushing to craft my draft novel for NaNoWriMo, I had no thought for what might be happening back in my garden at home.  When I returned, it was a shock to discover a gap between what was, and what now is.

And as I read over parts of my budding manuscript I recognize a familiar truth: there are gaps in my storytelling, too. While I know what happened, my readers are not being given the privilege of seeing those rich details for themselves. They’re still in my head. Mundane bits can be skipped over, but there are some happenings that should be captured in the narrative to add spectacular colour to the story.

I may be back from my offline writing retreat but I still have almost three weeks of NaNoWriMo writing to do. When December arrives I’ll be doing major revisions on the new story that’s currently obsessing me, and I’ll remember the bare trees and all those leaves on the ground. My revisions will include the addition of missing details and description.

(A click will enlarge for a closer look.)

What kind of details do you think readers want to see? What kind would they prefer to skip over?


“If a writer knows enough about what he is writing about,
he may omit things that he knows.

The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to
only one ninth of it being above water.” 

Ernest Hemingway
~  ~  ~

5 thoughts on “The Missing Bits

  1. You sound like a writing pro to me. Maybe your breakthrough is right around the corner, like the turning of the season. Blessings to you, Carol…

  2. joylene says:

    Such stunning photos, Carol. Can’t wait for your photograph book. I’m hoping my readers want to know how my protagonist copes with the everyday mundane acts he now much perform alone, without his beloved wife. I don’t think my readers are much interested in his cooking skills or housecleaning chores. I know I’m not.

  3. Good luck with NaNoWriMo, Carol. Yes, we do have to careful we don’t miss an important detail in our story but we have to be careful not to clutter the story with mundae details the reader couldn’t care less about. A fine line, I know.

  4. I think that blood red puddle at the base of that evergreen is spectacular.

  5. Carol says:

    Thanks to each of you for sharing your comments here. Carol Ann, I am *definitely* not a writing pro, but I thank you for your vote of confidence. 🙂

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