About Me

My photo

My Blog SCRIBBLE AND EDIT reflects my love of creative writing, design, literature and film. Check out my Poems & haiku, Romantic Flash Fiction; Blogfest Entries; Blog Awards and other prose and Flash Fiction. Do bear with me, as I will reciprocate with those genuine commenters on my blog.  BTW I sometimes withhold comments for challenges until later. Comments about the post are much appreciated. Thank you.
Comments based on others' comments can lead to misunderstandings that spread like whispers!

The only SURE way for me to follow you back is if you leave a comment. However, if your Blog has a black background and white writing then it makes my eyes squiffy...

Monday, 21 May 2012

Jarring the detail

As writers we are encouraged to add detail to our description to make the scene come alive, so instead of a car we mention the car was blue, a Volkswagen Beetle, perhaps?

But what happens when the detail jars? The novel I am currently reading (and winner of the crime thriller of the year) tells us on one page that:

'When he returns he is carrying two plastic cups filled with strong coffee, mine black, his white'.

Yuck, I think. Plastic cups! Will the coffee be putrid? Then in the same scene a few pages in

'He drains the last of his mug of coffee and says…'


Hmmm, now I'm thinking about a chunky mug. Maybe the coffee tastes better now, but what happened to the thin plastic cups?

The characters in this novel visit many coffee shops, (don't get me wrong I love my coffee shots at Costa and Starbucks) and yet they seem to be largely drinking from takeaway disposable cups, since in yet another chapter they have Styrofoam cups, suggesting that (in this age of posh coffee houses competing for custom) these characters frequent some really tacky establishments!  This kind of detail is surely important?Does it bother you?

I know I have made similar screaming howlers in my writing, breaking out into a cold sweat when discovered, the chagrin creeping across my face until I have corrected the error and moved on.