Reflecting on Details for Creative Writing
Other than my school text books and the readings for this course, I have very little time to read for pleasure. However, I did just pick up and glance at a book I would like to read, The Emigrants, Book 1, which was gifted to me by a Swedish friend last year. It’s the story of Swedish immigrants in North America written by Wilhelm Moberg. The paragraph I really liked was a description of one of the earliest known farm owners in Sweden called Nils:
About Nils in Mjodahult it is further known that he had an unusually large and grotesque nose, which was said to have resembled a well-grown rutabaga. This nose was inherited by his descendants, and someone in each generation posessed it. It became a mark of the Nilsa family. Called the Nilsa-nose, it was believed to be endowed with the same magic powers as a birth cowl, and brought luck to its owner. Children born with the Nilsa-nose became the most fortunate and most successful members of the family, and, even though it was hardly a mark of beauty in a woman, it is not known to have been an obstacle in securing advantageous marriages.
Being in posession of a large snout myself, this description really resonates with me. Moberg delightfully deals with Nils’ nose in much the way I do, with good humour. Indeed, I often talk about the “Thorne Nose” and advise others not to be jealous becuase “you have to been born with it!” So I like the way Moberg uses details not so much to describe the nose, but to describe how others react to it, and the ‘powers’ it possesses. In terms of CW techniques, I guess this is another form of showing, and not telling. I intend to incorporate this style of writing into future short stories for this course.