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Details matter – in different ways.

When telling or writing a story, the details matter – to a point.

This weekend my ‘tribe of girls’ was sitting by the water catching up on life, since it had been three months since we had done so. We were discussing the exorbitant cost of medical expenses.

My friend conveyed that she had just discovered that during the pandemic a local hospital had begun a food closet so that the staff members didn’t have to go to the grocery shop. She also relayed the hospital had reported an income of $524 million in profit. And yet, the food closet was still up and running.

“So what is the difference,” I asked, “between that and Google feeding their people for free?”

“The hospital just had staff members picketing because they are not making a living wage!” She replied with frustration. “The closet is now helping those people who work at the hospital who can’t afford to buy food.”

“OH!” I replied. “Well, that is a detail I didn’t have. Yes, that’s not good!”

Make sure the details you need to prove your point in the story are there, but be careful – don’t include so many that the person to whom you are telling the story, can’t follow.

If my friend had said, “. . . a local hospital had begun a food closet for their staff so that the staff members didn’t have to go to the grocery shop. It had free-range chicken, vegan burgers, and granola bars,“ that is probably information that is not necessary to prove the point that the food closet didn’t end as the pandemic waned, and the organization is not paying their staff a fair, livable wage.

Details are important. Too many details and the story veers off into a different place that may be related, but not necessary.

Only the necessary is, well . . . necessary.

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