Susan Orlean: “People read to get the big picture, but what they really savor is the detail that pops off the page.”

From a post on headlined “How to Go From Good to Great Using Your Powers of Observation”:

As it happened, I found my notes in the end, but it was a great lesson: The interesting details are the ones you remember effortlessly because they’re the ones that impress themselves in your memory. This is NOT a suggestions to write strictly from memory. What I”m suggesting is that you already have the capacity to sort out the great details from the dull stuff is you let yourself do it.  Maybe…start your story with your notebook closed, and tap out a few descriptions without consulting it. Then you can open your notebook and confirm the details with your notes. Or—my favorite technique—tell the story out loud to a friend and listen to what naturally bubbles up in the telling….

From Susan Orlean: I’m an author, a staff writer for The New Yorker, a dog owner, a gardener, a parent, a frequent lecturer/speaker, an occasional teacher, a very occasional guest editor, a once-in-a-blue-moon movie inspiration, and doodler. I’ve written a lot of books, and even more magazine articles.

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