Are the Little Things Important?

Are the little things important to readers? I am always tempted to add intricate little details as I write. Tiny things that I see in my mind’s eye that seem so important to the moment and to the identity of the character. As a reader, I also love it when something personal and unexpected is revealed. Such as a tiny ring that holds special meaning to the character, although it does not have part of the main storyline. What are your thoughts on the matter? Do you think it detracts from the story if great detail is taken on little things? What small objects are important to the evolution of your character?


Picture Copyrighted to Nicua. Please do not copy.


About Shemer

Author who loves reading, writing, horse riding, archery, books, dancing and many other things. Fulltime Soldier and part-time wildlife management student who loves to do adventurous things and explore the real world or books in her spare time.
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9 Responses to Are the Little Things Important?

  1. I think writers need to be very particular when it comes to adding detail. It’s like adding spice to a dish-the right amount gives it flavor and provenance, but too much detracts from the main ingredients, and can cause indigestion πŸ™‚ Be choosy, select one or two things to describe and do it in a way that is special, not cliched. This will make it resonate. Too much detail slows pace and annoys/bores many readers.

    • Shamira says:

      That is so true Rhiann! That sacred balance of all things that is so important, but also so easy to tip. Thanks πŸ™‚

  2. Siege says:

    Depends on how you want to introduce your character as a certain kind of person, the small items like a photo in the wallet or ring on the finger can shape the personality you want to portray. As it is usually the little things that define the person more than say the clothes they wear. Also the little things make for great plot twists later on because they are easily forgotten when in mention (being small things) but at the right moment can prove most poetic to the story.

  3. I agree – a slight little quirk can tell a lot about a character. But, big but – I read a book recently where every single character had a funny little quirk. It completely lost the effect and was annoying! So yes main character & maybe one other are allowed them! Off to edit & teeth grind now!

    • Shamira says:

      Wow, I think that could get really confusing, maybe the author forgot they had given each a lil something and then it was too late to change. It is a good thing to keep in mind, isn’t it? Thanks for commenting πŸ™‚ and good luck with the editing!

  4. Sara says:

    Well, I guess it all depends on how relevant the “little things” are and if they’d add something valuable to the context.. Too much details distracts the reader though..

  5. Shamira says:

    That is so true Sara. It is all important to add to the whole I suppose, if it does not add and is just neutral, maybe it has to go. thanks for commenting πŸ™‚

  6. Michael says:

    I think details add relationship in a direct correlation. Thinking about it in this way makes it so much easier to guide the reader to feel what you want them to feel. Detail designates importance. Lack there of designates unimportance. But if everything has the same amount of detail, it becomes mundane. I do love quirks πŸ˜›

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