Detail Checklist

Write Better Fiction

Details are a lot like cooking; they give that extra flavor that makes a reader salivate for more.

Too many details can bog down the reading, just like too many spices mixed together and you can’t taste a single one.

Just enough details that get spread and sprinkled evenly throughout a story can bring the fiction to life and envelope a reader’s senses. Details are how we write better fiction.


Characters’ personalities come through with big and small details. Not only do readers want to visualize the person, but they want to get to know them. Spending hours reading about them is like befriending a new person who’s going to (hopefully) be memorable and intriguing.

Likewise, depicting little quirks and habits can be just as enriching to a personality as much as revealing the character’s backstory and motivations. You can’t write better fiction without proper characterization.


The place readers visualize in the story is what really pulls their imagination to a story; it’s what makes them want to return to the pages of the places you describe.

Creating a place that they can easily see takes select details create a clear location for readers. You can’t write better fiction without immersing your readers into your story.


Your details’ meaning affects everything. ALL of your details can be symbolic, in fact. Don’t let that be intimidating though. Often we write symbols without even trying to.

Cold weather could represent an icy personality or mood. Or broken furniture could depict the broken soul of your character.

If you want to write better fiction, give your story a deeper meaning that makes your work timeless and relatable.


Dialogue reveals much about characters with what they do and do not say. In addition, the way people talk with inflections of their voice, tone, and gestures is a great way of sculpting a character in readers’ minds.

People say more with their body language than they intend. But, the key phrases shared between characters can often say more about those characters then the depiction of their external traits. When characters speak, they are willingly sharing a piece of themselves.


Readers get sucked into a story by involving their senses. Reading involves using the imagination which is why writers focus so much on visualization. Readers get hooked on a story if a writer can add details that awaken their other senses – smell, taste, touch – that is when.

I recommend mixing around your details for greater effect. Symbolism affects scenery and sense; dialogue intertwines with characterization and senses.

All details are connected and overlap. That’s how you write better fiction.

Detail Checklist with Infographic to improve your fiction writing and create better content.

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