Delete the explanation

The other week in class, my writing instructor said, “When you get rid of the explanation, the emotion really comes through.”

That hit me, because I was like…this is truth. This is a life lesson.

Reveal something without directly saying it, and you make it much more powerful.

Watch how others around you reveal things without speaking.

Watch how the world reveals itself.

Learn to reveal yourself without feeling the need to JADE (justify, argue, defend, explain).

And if you’re a writer, learn how to make your writing do the work for you – if you show enough, it should minimize how much you have to tell.

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The art of subtlety in writing

I belong to a support group, and someone in that group recommended reading a YA book called ‘Jacob Have I Loved.’ It’s about a girl who grows up on an island in the Chesapeake Bay area with a twin sister who’s very different from her – favored and pampered by their parents and the community in general. The title refers to this Bible verse (even though it’s not a religious book):

As it is written, ‘Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.’ – Romans 9:13

To give context, in the Bible, Jacob and Esau are twins. Esau is the older one, but Jacob deceives him and receives a very important blessing from their elderly father. The book invokes the conflict between Jacob and Esau in the title; the narrator relates to Esau, as technically she’s the oldest, but it’s the youngest who manages to take attention away from her.

I was reading with a purpose – specifically to look at the dynamic between the siblings and within the family unit. Art reflects life, after all.

What I found were great examples of ‘show, don’t tell’ and subtlety in writing.

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