Friday, February 19, 2010

A closer look ... (by Ann Schrock)

A tangle of woods borders the parking lot of the factory where I work, and sometimes I eat my lunch in my truck for a moment outdoors.

At first the woods didn't look like much: just tangles of leafless branches and brush. Gray limbs and white snow.

But as I studied it I began to notice that at least two kinds of woodpeckers liked those trees, and so did a little flock of chickadees. Sometimes I saw cardinals, probably flying in after brunch at feeders in the subdivision behind the factory.

I'm looking forward to seeing the woods change as winter turns into spring. Will a low spot in the middle turn into a pond? Will there be toads? Tree frogs? Mosquitoes? Wildflowers?

In the same way, at first I found the factory full of strangers. Now I recognize my co-workers as single moms, recently unemployed men happy to return to work, young people just starting out ... all kinds of people with all kinds of stories.

As a writer I should study my surroundings -- not just see but notice the details.

What are some of our best ways to notice details, of our surroundings? Do little details add a lot? Can details help us connect with those around us and reveal more of Christ?

Ann Schrock
What's new down on the farm? Come and see ...


  1. Ann, this is so insightful. When we first start a book, I think we come into it like you say--with an overview and not noticing the details. As we get into our work, then we notice the story in the setting, the characters and their backgrounds, the variations and a theme.

    What a great way to look at it!

  2. Great thoughts. It's the details that keep us in the story. Too many details and we lose the reader, too few details and we never hook the reader.

  3. You're so right! God did not cooky-cutter-stamp His creation on any level. Nor should we.

  4. Hey, y'all, thanks for your thoughts on details. Due to work it took awhile to get back to the blog yesterday!