Details, Details, Details

I have short short hair.

Recently after a stranger touched it, she said, “Your hair is really soft.”

“It’s new,” my surprised self blurted. “I’m just getting it back after chemo.”

Few people know what to say after I mention chemo. But do you think it is weird that people touch my hair? Maybe I’m missing something. A guy at church touched it after he gave me a compliment that it looked good.

My mom thinks my hair is great. I’m her baby (still) and she thinks everything I do is great. Even growing hair. She tells everyone it is growing. She is excited because my hair is starting to curl. The curling part is not my favorite, but I don’t complain. Any hair for me is better than no hair. However, IF my hair were straight, it would look longer and not stick out in every direction when I wake up in the mornings.

Does your main character have distinctive hair? Does one of your characters have short hair, another long? Is your main character bald? Does one character have black hair and another brown and another bright blue? Are your characters clones so everyone’s hair is the same? Do people touch your main character’s hair? Or comment on their hair? Is your character fussy about her hair—constantly looking in the mirror or using a comb? Or is your character someone who only using her fingers to brush through her hair once in the morning?

Why?

In scene details make a story come alive.

Details make a character real.

But is “hair” one of the details needed in your story?

I heard Lois Lowry speak about her series The Giver when the third book was released. She said in the first book, she never mentions colors until Jonas sees the red apple. I’m not sure I caught that detail the first time I read the book. Well, not until Jonas sees the apple.

I remember another author (can’t recall who) saying that she purposefully never described her main character and was always interested when fans wrote to tell her how they envisioned the character.

You are the only one who knows what details are needed for your book.

I’ve heard it said that you need “just enough” details, not too many.

How do you know when enough is enough?

Advertisements
This entry was posted in On Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s