Saturday, October 1, 2011

Find the telling details

This week, I've asked my staff to observe someone in the newsroom and bring at least three telling details about that person to our next meeting. For example, here are some telling details about someone I know. What do these details tell you about this person? 

1. Wears hats a lot
2. Photographs of two sons on desk
3. On computer is a menagerie of items, all of which mean something: a dried rose from a friend's funeral, a piece of unpopped popcorn from a pastor's sermon, etc.
4. Even number of pencils in pencil caddy.
5. Books lined up from tallest to smallest.

So,  you do the same. Find someone and share a few telling details about them. The detail could be what they wear (ie. Hawaiian shirts) or about their appearance (five o-clock shadow) or something about their cubicle (papers piled everywhere) or bedroom (so many stuffed animals on the bed that you can't see the top of the comforter). Or how they smell (woodsy musk scent or sweaty). Details help us see the person. Show me the person through the details you choose.

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