Belva Plain

Belva Plain – It’s in the Details

The talented and prolific writer Belva Plain was my cousin. Her first book, “Evergreen,” was written when she was in her sixties. She went on to write more than twenty best sellers. Sadly, this beautiful woman recently passed away at age ninety-five.

I recall an incident cousin Belva described about writing and making it personal. She said to watch a piece of paper fall to the floor in the middle of a crowded room. Observe how people treat it, walk around it, kick it or step on it, notice it or don’t notice it, pick it up, look at it or ignore it, crumble it, put it in a pocket or stick it in a trash receptacle. Details. Details. Details.

Honorably I shared Belva Plain’s last name until I married. Her husband, Irving, was my cousin so I couldn’t inherit her writing genes. Some people in her famous first novel could have been my ancestors too. Was it all fiction? What makes great fiction? Is it the ability to bring people and places to life with carefully chosen descriptions that include the tiniest details? What do you think? Share your ideas.

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