I'm in the midst of the reno from hell and, for the most part, my husband has had to deal with stuff. Mechanical, plumbing, HVAC, etc. Not very glamorous (to me anyway) but all those little details add up to a working house that I will one day celebrate and not curse because it doesn't have adequate heating, low water pressure etc. Now that we're getting toward the last third of the reno I now have to become immersed in the details. Lighting, paint colour, tile selection, ack! I know if I screw up on those things that no matter how well my husband has taken care of his details, my details will be out there for everyone to see. So, you might ask, what's your point? What does this have to do with anything - especially writing??
So many writers are doing NaNoWriMo (NaNo for short)this month that I keep reading about the deluge of submissions agents will be inundated with in January. I also keep reading that writers should please, for the love of God, please hold off on submitting. Why? Because it's the details that make your submission stand out. You might have got the bones of the book down this month. Maybe even some flesh and blood. But do you have the right nuances of character? Are your secondary characters fleshed out enough? Like a house that needs the right furniture, have you gone through the book and made sure the setting is solid and evocative and does it contribute to the overall mood of the room ... I mean book! So, so many DETAILS. You get my drift?
Those details - and like a house reno there can be hundreds of details/decisions to attend to - are critical if you want that book (or house) to shine. Even if you get sick of going through every scene (room) to make sure it flows with the rest of the scenes, even if you are sick of looking at lighting fixtures ... I mean descriptions! you need to to make sure your scene is as bright or as dark as you want it to be.
So, yes, the devil is in the details but the beauty will show in the book. And, I hope, my house. Good luck you NaNoWriMo's! Come January our books and houses may not be quite ready but they'll be on their way!