I have been reading another book about how to write a novel recently, and came across a great and catchy sentence from Ron Rozelle’s Description and Setting under the Write Great Fiction series. “To be a good writer, you have to be a persistent and meticulous harvester of detail.”
The author elaborates by teaching that we have to pay close attention to everything that is going around us, or what he terms the ‘fresh little details.’ This can also work for storing small bits of information regarding the details of a room. A few days ago I went to a high school basketball game with my son and his cub scout troop, and as we watched the game I took out my little notebook and wrote down the colors of the players’ uniforms, the cheerleaders’ uniforms, and even what the die-hard fans were wearing. I noticed several strange glances while I wrote, but I remained focused, because this is the high school that I am basing my young adult time travel book from.
We can pick up some of our greatest dialogue by eavesdropping on people’s conversation, say, in line at the grocery store. I often do that anyway, but the book suggests that I buy a small notebook (already have one) and write down the details of the conversation, such as what was said, how it was said, etc. and reflect on the seemingly unimportant conversations that may help me when I add the details to my story.