Details Abound

Details can seem annoying when you’re reading (too much scenery or a paragraph endlessly describing how a room looks), and I’m often told by students that they skip those parts.  Even so, when details are connected to events and dialogue, they add a lot of depth.

Your challenge, should you choose to accept, is to add interesting details to these boring sentences, without writing a whole paragraph.  One sentence limit for each!  Heck, Hemingway wrote a one sentence story:  “For sale:  Baby shoes, never worn.”

Here you go:

  1. We had fish for supper.
  2. Ivan sniffed, then sneezed.
  3. One man yelled, “Bravo!”

17 responses to “Details Abound

  1. All we had was fish for supper, cooked on the campfire.

  2. The baby shoes that Ivan sniffed contained baby powder, so then he sneezed.

  3. As the young ballet dancer picked herself up off the floor, her Dad was, at first, the one and only man who yelled, “Bravo!”

  4. Finding nothing to eat beneath the snow, Ivan sniffed, then sneezed, and was instantly bathed in the thousand-watt glare of the East Perimeter searchlight.

    As far as Father O’Donoghue knew, we had fish for supper every Friday, but Ma, may God bless her soul, was convinced that not all of your fish need come from the ocean.

    One man yelled, “Bravo!” as the mezzo-soprano, a stout woman with golden braids, beautifully sang the word “nitroglycerin” while collapsing to the stage clutching her breastplate.

  5. Stumbling in late after a night at Rico’s Pub, I could smell we had fish for dinner.
    Ivan sniffed, then sneezed, yeah, too much paprika again on her fish.
    He jumped and swore off booze when a miniature man in a yellow raincoat holding a fishing pole, was standing beside the fish and yelled “Bravo”.

  6. For the first time in a week, the sun shone brightly in a cloudless sky, and the streets were no longer rivers, so we fired up the grill and had fish for supper.

    Ivan sniffed the t-shirt with care but then sneezed uncontrollably-—his first day with the K-9 unit foiled by a perp who had doused himself in cheap aftershave.

    When one man yelled, “Bravo!” and one woman yelled, “HGTV!” George knew he should’ve just put the TV on ESPN without consulting the bar patrons.

  7. We had crunchy fish tacos, heavily laced with habanero peppers for supper.
    Ivan sniffed the enormous bouquet of red and white Stargazer lilies and sneezed so hard his glasses fell off.
    I skidded down the ice covered stairs and across the sidewalk toward the curb,where I barely caught my arm around a light pole as one man yelled “Bravo!”

  8. We had fish for supper. Lunch and breakfast too. Week after week. What I craved was meat. I called to Marcie’s dog.

    Ivan sniffed, then sneezed. I dropped to the ground, pancake flat, as the spotlights swept our way.

    One man yelled, “Bravo.” His sarcasm as thick as his accent.

  9. It was back in the winter of ’57 that the “DuPont Star” ran aground on the inlet jetty. The Coast Guard never said what she was carrying, but we had fish for supper every night for two months.

  10. Artie manipulated his flags with great skill, but abruptly stopped mid-message. One man yelled, “Bravo!” but Artie wasn’t sure if “iceberg” was one word, two, or required hyphenation.

  11. I am humbled by all this creativity. Ivan is a dog, a female, and a cold war escapee. Bravo is a TV station, a shout of appreciation, and a sarcastic comment. But somehow, the fish carry the day. I may never eat any again. Now I hope to die clutching my breastplate.

  12. sheila sorensen

    Yodelling to the hills, young Tony, gripping a large trout, scrambled up the cliff path and we had fish for supper.
    Ivan sniffed, then sneezed and Sylvia’s bullet, meant to kill him, nicked his backpack and he picked up speed toward the crevasse.
    One man yelled, ‘Bravo!’ but the four other councellors were indifferent and so her fate remained uncertain.

  13. After two months of eagerly researching online, carefully planning meals, and zealously pursuing our new and exciting vegetarian diet, my neighbor and I broke the faith and we had fish for supper.

    Who would have thought that such a slight but ghastly pain signaling the beginning of his end would be felt when after a simple dusting of house curtains, Ivan coughed then sneezed.
    (A modest reworking into one sentence some of the events found in “The Death of Ivan Ilyich”.)

    One man yelled, “Bravo!” after Maggie our slightly inebriated bartender spilled yet another pint of of Guinness all over a bar stool.

  14. 1. The swordfish was still sizzling as I devoured it, ending the evening on an inevitably more satisfying note!
    2. Sniffing delicately at the night air, Ivan let out a sneeze that would have made an enormous elephant proud.
    3. The man in the purple hat leaned forward on the balcony and yelled “Bravo!” loudly, flailing his arms in the excitement and almost falling before someone grabbed him from behind.

  15. Flaked, shaped, breaded, fried, frozen, baked; we had fish? for supper.

    As the elevator doors closed, Ivan sniffed cigarette smoke, perfume, menthol throat lozenge, beer, breath mints – then sneezed.

    The politician concluded “I’ve got big plans, great plans, just wait ‘till you see my plans,” and one man yelled, “Bravo!”

  16. 1. Comblike skeletons next to speckled skins on our dinner plates indicated that we had fish for supper.
    2. Ivan sniffed, then sneezed while the rest of us tried to figure out what was wrong with Susie.
    3. One man yelled,”Bravo!” after six men changed a lightbulb.

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