From Sarah, With Joy

*Poet * Author * Wanderluster*

Monday, November 9, 2009

Pyramid of Abstraction: the importance of detail in creative work

The Pyramid of Abstraction is one of the fundamentals of creative writing in my opinion. The main idea is that every work of creative writing, or any work of art for that matter, should be based on solid, concreted details with a few abstractions on the top.

In a piece of creative writing its the detail that really draws the reader in, helps them identify with the characters and the story and are what readers remember when they leave. Writing that's too abstract is difficult to connect with and is sometimes even hard to understand. Even if what your trying to communicate is a universal abstract idea, the best way to guide your readers to an understanding of that idea is through stunning, concrete detail. Use sight, smell, touch, taste and sound. Every sensual detail like that will evoke emotions in the reader, and that is the best way of making sure your reader connects with your work. Think of it this way: which is a more interesting sentence? a) "An aura of sadness hung over the room," or b) "Gloria's tongue felt like she had been sucking lemon, but even so, she and the white-haired man sitting next to her on the pew, who had spent the last hour fidgeting with his wedding ring, were the only ones in the whole church who hadn't cried."

Using awesome detail will make your story and characters as real to your readers as they are to you.

Happy writing!
Sarah Allen

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