My post on Wednesday focused in on the nostalgia of an idyllic childhood and the responses I got from readers were lovely. It got me to thinking that some of the best moments in books I enjoy are those little details that connect with me on a personal level.
-For Steve it was steam engines and thresher’s dinners.
-For Buffy it was a house with dark panelling and a garden with poems on sticks.
-For Pat it was a tree that served as a pirate ship.
-And for Nancy it was Junebugs and glasses of tomato juice set out in cut glass coasters.
I’m sure everyone who read the post had their own, detailed memory unique to their particular childhood. And that, I think, is one of the elements of great writing. Putting in those little details that resonate in some way with the reader.
My mom has never told me about the glasses of tomato juice before, but that image captures me utterly. It speaks of care and a certain elegance. It tells me my great grandmother wanted her family to feel special. It communicates so much more than juice in a glass on a table.
Details. Our worlds are composed of detail, upon detail, upon detail. The trick is finding the ones that connect. That speak to others.