When Walt Disney created Disney World he did so with attention to detail at every single level.
He wanted to make sure that, as someone flew over the top of the park, they would recognize the shapes and landscape as Disney. When they walked through the park, the details in the cobblestones and the textures on the walls of the buildings left an ever-magical sense of wonder for the customer. Even down to the doorknobs, which each have a different shape and feel in the palm of your hand.
Disney was the king of detail, because he knew that the more attention paid to detail at every level of interaction, the more immersed in the magic the consumer would become, the more memorable the experience, and the more impact it would have.
It’s the exact same in your story.
The more level of detail you can bring to your story, the more immersed the reader will become.
When we read stories we expect to be transported into that story, and the less work we have to do in our imagination to get there, the more we can let ourselves get lost in this world that’s being created for us.
The details, often lost in the importance of conveying a message, are crucial to the success of your story landing and leaving an impact by holding someone’s attention and immersing them deep into the world you’re creating for them. The more detail, the more success you will have.
At every sentence, every paragraph, and every event you recount, you need to be evaluating how deep and how intense the detail is that you’re providing for your reader.
Here are some things to consider:
- Have I described this using all the senses that I can?
- Have I described this using imagery or comparisons that my audience would understand?
- Have I described the way this feels inside but also the way those feelings manifest externally?
- Have I described this from a 3000 ft above view all the way down to a microscopic level?
- Does the level of description match the weight of the moment I’m describing?
The more vividly you can create the world for your reader, the easier it is to grab and hold their attention.
Write first with the maximum level of detail you can inject, and edit heavy later to the amount of detail that’s really necessary.
It’s through an attention to detail that we hold the brain’s attention for long spans of time. The more engaged we can keep the imagination, the more successful our story will be.