I notice that on days when I haven't a clue what to post, I dredge up the old class notes for pearls of wisdom from some mind far greater than my own. Tonight is no exception. I guess that the act of re-reading this and typing it out will help me remember it better. Perhaps it will be of some benefit to one or you. The following passage is from Oakley Hall- The Art and Craft of Novel Writing.
Henry James said that a writer must be one upon whom nothing is lost. What writers must not lose are, at the heart of it, vivid and revealing details. A writer must be an observer, and what he observes, and collects, are the details that show, that reveal, that imply, that specify, that build character and forward the story. He finds details in the life around him-a scene observed in the Safeway or the laundromat, a conversation overheard on the bus, for example, as well as in the books he reads. Someone said that a novelist's mind is a garbage pit of odd information. It is also a storehouse of detail. Contemplating a scene that he must bring to life in fiction, he selects the details that will best serve his purpose, he contemplates the best means by which to employ them, and he renders the details by the use of action, by the employment of sensory impressions, and by the means of point of view.
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