Welcome to my self-indulgent location for the stories (good and bad) that I can't prevent myself from writing. All comments and criticisms welcome. I post on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Nectarine (#atozchallenge)

Welcome to today's post on the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. My challenge, as I have chosen to accept it, is thus: I have asked on my Facebook and Twitter accounts for people to contribute random words beginning with today's letter. From Random.org, I have selected one of these words, and will below challenge myself to connect said word to writing.

For the letter N, I received 23 suggestions. Random.org selected number 7: nectarine.


How would you feel reading the following scene in a novel? (Please remember, this is off-the-cuff.)

Joan sat down with her friend Michelle on the bench and pulled a nectarine from her bag. She dug her nail deep into the fruit skin and tore a line halfway around it.

"I think we should go to Darin's party," Michelle said.

Joan bit into the nectarine. A little drop of juice slid onto her chip, and she wiped it off with the back of her sleeve "But his parents won't be home." More juice dripped onto the ground.

"All the better." Michelle rolled her eyes.

Joan thought about the party as she bit into the ripe fruit again. She chewed it, feeling the fiber crunching between her teeth while the sweet juice swept over her tongue. After swallowing, she said, "I don't know." 

You see where this is going... or where it's not, for that matter. The question is: what's the most important part of this scene? Is it the food? Or is it the discussion of the part?

In real life, lots of things happen at one time. Right now I'm sitting in an empty room at school trying to write this, but I'm still distracted noticing the people walking outside, the noise from the fan, the large, loud meeting across the hallway, the car that just pulled into the parking lot. But if I were to fictionalize this time, I would need to focus the reader's attention on what's important, which is (possibly) none of those things.

Details are good, folks. Dot get me wrong. They just need to be the right details.

What do you do to focus the writing? Have you ever written a scene and wondered why you'd added certain details?


Carol Riggs said...

Great point about having the RIGHT details. That's the crucial thing. Sometimes I like details just cuz they add "flavor." And sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn't! :o)

Bob Sanchez said...

I'm not so sure the nectarine adds to the scene. As you say, the details have to be the right ones. Yes, I sometimes wonder why I've added a detail, and if I don't have a good answer, I take it out.

I'm stopping by on the A-Z Challenge. Please visit my blog, where my word of the day is Osculation.

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