Dorsey Armstrong's exercices
We have been presented three pieces of writing.
What makes them good and of their own distinctive voice is also what they have in common.
It’s one powerful detail, idea or you can call it an image.
In the first piece it’s an air of decay. It’s something rotting and disintegrating. The priest’s death finished his musty life and made everything else musty, too.
In the second piece the power of motion takes you right inside that Pullman, and you can’t or don’t want to get off.
And in the third piece we are engulfed by stillness. The image of a leaf falling from nowhere stresses this motionlessness and makes it nearly tangible.
List of catchy details
1 Air, musty from having been long enclosed, hung in all the rooms, and the waste room behind the kitchen was littered with old useless papers. Among these I found a few paper-covered books, the pages of which were curled and damp. …I found the late tenant's rusty bicycle-pump.
2 Vast flats of green grass, dull-hued spaces of mesquit and cactus, little groups of frame houses, woods of light and tender trees, all were sweeping into the east, sweeping over the horizon, a precipice. —Stephen Crane,
3 The air was motionless, …and now and again a leaf came drifting—from nowhere, from the sky.