This photo was taken from the Old Cataract Hotel in Aswan during my visit to Egypt in December 2019.
And it was the direct inspiration for this snippet from Theft of an Idol:
The banks of the canal slipped past. Two boys in a rickety rowboat paddled out to catch hold of the rail and hitch a ride to the next village. Farmers ankle deep in rich black loam stood to wave and immediately stooped again to planting next season’s harvest. Women fetched water from wells for dinner, shouldering the full amphoras with ease. Aside from the cry of ducks and doves, the hiss of ten blades slicing into the water was the only sound that marred the serenity of their passage.
It is this kind of small detail that brings a story to life. The more there are, the better chance you have of putting your reader in that place and time. There, that’s my bit of craft advice for the day.
Author and founder of Storyknife.org.