Sometimes my eyes will catch onto an eagle when I’m driving. I’ve even pulled over on occasion to watch them in flight, huge wings spread wide as they float across the wind.
One time down at the beach, a man and a woman pulled up and run out onto the sand. They were a distance away from us, and they were wearing formal clothes – him in full tuxedo. This was mid-morning on a cold, overcast day, and they ran down onto the wet sand then the woman pulled back, dropped down onto the beach and let go of his hand and he kept on running, black leather shoes clapping into the waves.
Paying attention to detail is one of the key traits of a writer, and it’s little moments like this that capture your imagination, fuel your creative mind. These happenings, flourishes in your day to day life, can open up a whole new world of possibilities in your mind, thinking over how they came to be, what lead to them occurring. Allowing yourself to take in the moment and letting your mind run with it can lead to ground-breaking moments for story ideas. Even if you have an outline constructed, details like this can form key parts of your narrative, taking in the detail of the scene and trying to put yourself into another person’s skin.
You need to let yourself get caught up in the detail, let your creative mind open, just go with it now and then. Take a train into the city one weekend and just look around. Take a drive on the backroads and see where it takes you – not physically, but mentally. Allow yourself to be totally open to the detail of your surroundings, see what your attention catches onto.
Detail adds texture to your work, authenticity. Detail comes from paying attention – writers are naturally curious, naturally attentive to what’s happening around them. It’s worth taking the time, whenever you can, to just stay with the thought, allow the stories to unfold. It’s moments like this that exercise your creative mind and show you the depth in the fabric of the world. There’s so much we don’t know, so many lives and perspectives that we can never experience. Taking a time to wander can bring you closer to the finer details of life and allow you to expand your understanding and expose moments of true art, by your own terms and definitions.