Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Art: It's in the details

My art teacher (Hillary Hogue) tried to explain to us that we are drawing too quickly. We need to slow down. She said, "Beauty is in the details." She explained this by stating there are many shapes within one's eyes, maybe thirty or forty details just in the eye. You can't capture those details if you're going quickly. Slow down; look; see. Then draw.

About writing, John Gardner in The Art of Fiction says, "In all major genres, vivid detail is the life blood of fiction." ...vivid detail... Have I been writing too fast? Am I visualizing, seeing, my characters, inside and out? Am I seeing my scenes in full color? Am I choosing words that show, that bring to life, yes, bring to life, my story? After all, isn't that what the reader wants, something that lives?

The differences in the arts aren't necessarily that different after all. We're all trying to get at the same thing: that which is real, that which lives.


L.G.Smith said...

I hear people advocate writing a fast first draft all the time. Perhaps it works best for them to get the bones of the story on paper and then go back and flesh out the details. But I'm more prone to collecting details as I go. I love discovering little things about my characters or their surroundings that I didn't know before I began writing that morning. It helps lead me to the next chapter. Either way, I suppose the stories get written and the details added, but I like taking the slow road to the end. Just what works for me.

Tamara said...

I'm actually one of those people who writes a fast first draft and goes back and adds the details after. But I think it works either way, it's just a different process of discovery.

Great post.

Emily R. King said...

Great thoughts, Richard. I like to visualize when I'm outlining. It helps to set the tone. Then when I'm drafting, I already have a picture in mind. Research helps too. I have folders full of pictures that inspire me!

Clarissa Draper said...

I wrote my first and second book with a really fast first draft but I ended making a lot of changes to it because as I edit--and this process is a slow process--I capture a lot more details and the creativity flows better.

Lea said...

I sketch since I was young and I believe about what your teacher said about the details. The details will make the sketch of an eye "alive". You made a nice analogy of your teacher's advice when it comes to writing. :)

Tanya Reimer said...

I do write fast, but then I take my time with each MS. So much time. Years, months, days, any amount of time it demands. This post was wonderful to remind me, that it's not just time, but quality time that counts.