Monday, April 27, 2009

Why We Crave Detail

Stephen King, in a recent interview published in Writer's Digest (May/June 2009), claims that details are what make people "believe the unbelievable . . . that belief and reader absorption come in the details: an overturned tricycle in the gutter of an abandoned neighborhood can stand for everything. Or a broken billboard. Or weeds growing in the cracks of a library's steps" (50).

In "Why We Crave Horror Movies," originally published in Playboy in 1981, King details good and bad behavior, saying, "When, as children, we hug our rotten little puke of a sister and give her a kiss, all the aunts and uncles smile and twit and cry, 'Isn't he the sweetest little thing?' Such coveted treats as chocolate covered graham crackers often follow. But if we deliberately slam the rotten little puke of a sister's fingers in the door, sanctions follow--angry remonstrance from parents, aunts, and uncles; instead of a chocolate covered graham cracker, a spanking" (RC,WW 381).

Like King's description of the effects of good and bad behavior, write a detailed example of your subject with enough texture, imagination, and particulars for readers to believe and fully understand.


  1. Say you have been in a relationship with best friend sense you were both were little girls, you two are practically sisters and always together. That was until you two got in a really bad verbal fight with each other, you became so depressed because you know you were wrong. The morning after that huge fight you’re so depressed there seems that there is no reason to get up and get ready for the day, it’s not worth the effort anymore. Getting up in the morning to go to school doesn’t seem the same without knowing she will be at school ready to hangout and gossip with you.

  2. I worked at a restaurant for about a year and when i first started working i loved it! All my co-workers were so helpful and nice they made me feel very welcome. That was until a new girl got hired to work for the front desk with me and tryed making my life miserable. She would gossip so much about people and make me feel so uncomfortable that i no longer wanted to go to work. Working in an enviroment where you dont feel comfortable is not the best feeling and especially not worth the time. That is why i decided to move on and find another job rather then being at a place where i would be upset all the time.