Marji Laine: Faith~Driven Fiction

. . . Authentic and Intense

Writer Tip – Those Pesky Little Details

16 Comments

My romantic suspense is starting to take a better shape. I really love the way the revision process tightens up my story. By the time I got to the end of the draft, the beginning needed considerable changes. I've made it halfway through chapter five and the beginning is finally matching the ending.

Except for the little details that I added without thinking. Eye color, tablecloths or pictures. Even "walk-on" characters have changed from the beginning to the ending.
  • First and worst are all of those minor characters. I think my heroine's best friend had two first names and three last ones. The florist had two, one male and one female. While my hero's parents kept their

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Author: Marji Laine

Marji is a homeschooling mom with teenage twins left in the nest. She spends her days transporting to and from volleyball, teaching writing classes at a local coop, and directing the children’s music program at her church. Raised in suburban Dallas, she got her first taste of writing through the stories of brilliant authors of their day, Mignon Eberhart and Phyllis A. Whitney, and through stage experience. After directing and acting in productions for decades, Marji started writing her own scripts. From that early beginning, she delved into creating scintillating suspense with a side of Texas sassy. She invites readers to unravel their inspiration, seeking a deeper knowledge of the Lord’s Great Mystery that invites us all.

16 thoughts on “Writer Tip – Those Pesky Little Details

  1. Oh, I also spend a day, just after figuring out my plot, to hunt for my ideal for my characters – most of them anyway. I print out pictures and give 2 pages in a notebook to each of them, outlining some of their arc. It's this information that sets up the in depth picture that I share in my spread sheets.

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  2. Great information! The next time I write a story, I want to use a storyboard and a spreadsheet to keep track of scenes and characters.

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  3. Funny, I have spreadsheets like this too! I have not moved to the "Board" concept yet. I'd probably want to draw little pictures of everyone and it would take WAY too much time. It looks like your really thinking this over though, which is GREAT.

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  4. Okay, I'm laughing, Ninja Gal. My first thought is, "Oh, you write paranormal?" LOL! That is too funny. I didn't get quite that forgetful, but my victim's name in my last novel changed about eight times. Multiple personalities – hers not mine!

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  5. I definitely like the story board idea. In my WIP, I noticed a couple of my characters died in Chapter Three and mysteriously reappeared unscathed in Chapter Five!

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  6. Well, then we've traded inspiration, C.Kay. Your persistent determination has inspired the tar out of me, too!

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  7. I'm not nearly as organized as you are. The best place for my notes and outlines is usually in my head or in jumbled notes on notebook paper. Over the past year, though, you have inspired me to really work out what I want to write before I just start writing. Thank you so much!

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  8. Sounds awesome Ben J. I didn't know you wrote music!

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  9. This reminds me of the process I go through when I write music. I'm not as organized as you, but I'll usually start with just my guitar. Once I find a sound I like, then I start thinking about what kind of words would match that. Then everything goes crazy and I brainstorm a billion rhymes and words and ideas. The hardest part is weaning out what sounds good, all flows and has one message, but all has a good, God glorifying message. Right now I'm in the beginnings of writing a song, but hopefully Christmas Break will be productive 🙂

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  10. Keli, I look forward to having an editor's eyes on my ms. Sorta like a partner on the process. My awesome crit partners don't let me get away with anything, but they only read a section at a time – continuity slips between the cracks.

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  11. Like you, Marji, I'm in the midst of edits. I'm preparing to receive the ones from my publishing house, and in preparation I'm reading the manuscript for the first time in a year as I catch typos, repetitions, etc. As I read, I'm creating sheets listing the timeline, characters, etc. to help me and my editor as we go through the upcoming revision process. Gotta get those details right, right? =)

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  12. Love that imagery, Loree!I have to get better at that, Jessica. Feel like I'm on an Easter Egg Hunt right now!

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  13. I'm lovin your board! I use OneNote to note my details. I have a picture and profile of each person. Many times, I hunt down a house, living room, kitchen by image and post that as well. And because I'm not a huge plotter other than the main points, I have a notebook handy, so when a character or something important appears, I jot it down and can come back to it so I don't have to go through the whole ms just looking for slipped details, but I do always find a few! 🙂

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  14. If I had my way, Natalia, I'd write with pen and paper. I've always liked drawing things out and rearranging the details. Part of the fun. But it just isn't feasible when it's so much faster to put it down digitally. Alas!

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  15. Wow! That plot board is amazing.Details are like those herbs and spices, and other things we throw into a soup that really makes it unique and yummy…and makes them come back for more.

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  16. Seems like I'm at about the same point as you! And finding the same things, like a character with two different names, and three different spellings! The storyboard idea is great. I love seeing things laid out all organized, much easier than a spreadsheet I'd just end up printing out anyway! It's so important to keep all these details straight, isn't it? It's tough to read something where the author keeps jumping around. Good job getting things organized – I'll be doing the same here in a minute!

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