Using Vignettes

An excellent example of using vignettes by Harmony Kent on Story Empire.

Story Empire

Hello SErs! Harmony here. I hope this finds you all well. Today, I wanted to talk about using vignettes in your novels. Here is the dictionary definition of a vignette:




1. A brief evocative description, account, or episode.

“a classic vignette of embassy life”

One of the best uses of this device is one I saw in The Outsider, Stephen King’s latest book. The situation is tense. Detective Ralph has just arrested Local guy Terry –rather publicly–for an horrific crime. Terry keeps the detective and the DA in the room by saying, ‘I’m not going to discuss any of this until Howie gets here, but I want to tell you one thing.’ (Howie is the lawyer.)

Against his better judgement, the detective stays. Right here is where King leads us skilfully into the vignette, which serves multiple purposes. For one, it slows the pace and allows the reader…

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