We often hear about the significance of detail in prose—especially what’s sometimes called “the telling detail.” Just what can detail tell us, and how so? In this workshop we’ll look at the uses and powers of detail and consider just what (perspective? character? setting? the passage of time? beauty? ethics?) detail can help build. How do we learn how to write more detailed details? How can detail build a world for readers to live in? Together we’ll read short examples of fiction and nonfiction, and look for new ways detail may enter and transform our writing.
Hilary Plum is the author of the novel Strawberry Fields, winner of the Fence Modern Prize in Prose (2018); the work of nonfiction Watchfires (2016), winner of the 2018 GLCA New Writers Award; and the novel They Dragged Them Through the Streets (2013). She teaches at Cleveland State University and in the NEOMFA program and is associate director of the CSU Poetry Center.