I somehow managed to hurt my knee this weekend but for the life of me I can’t remember when. The biggest problem about being hurt is that I now know exactly how my knee is used because every time I bend it jut a bit too far it stops being able to support me. I can no longer do a whole range of things until my knee feels better. from big things like climbing stairs and swimming to sitting cross legs and piking up my puppy.
All these side effects reminded me of a writing tip I heard somewhere.
Use small details to describe something horrible.
I guess this rule is a lot like show don’t tell just more specific.
When something horrible happens in your story you want to show how it effects the people around it and not simply state what happened.
When a house was burned down you don’t simply say it you write about whatever is left of the old rocking chair that stood on porch or your character picks up the baby’s burned shoes.
When a soldier loses his arm you write about the small things he can no longer do, like scratch the other elbow.
When two armies face each each other you don’t write simply about the tactics behind it you write about the soldier who didn’t hold the ine and got pulled into the enemy ranks forever lost to those around him.
An easy way to handle this is to simply think to yourself, who does this effect? Just the main character? Supporting characters? No name characters?
Then decide how to show how said character is effected.