The Art Of Suggestion

I was reading another bloggers post recently, and it was full of advice I needed to pay attention to and heed. I have a real weakness with my style of writing. I am not very good at suggesting something to the reader, allowing them to fill in the gaps. Instead, I tend to waffle and supply way too many trivial details that don’t aid the flow of the story.

I don’t really know why I do that. I guess I am just such an amateur when it comes to crafting a story and captivating readers. I become immersed in my characters, and find that almost everything they think, feel, say, hold back from saying, do, regret they didn’t do – it all matters to me…and I sort of expect it to matter to others who read their stories.

But it does not always work that way. Ultimately, nobody will ever know or love my characters as much as I do. That is just a fact. So, if I go overboard with revolving the story around my characters alone, it can be like having dinner with a parent who wants to show you a host of photographs of their little ones, the pictures they drew at school, their first milk teeth that fell out, and share you with accounts of every memorable incident since birth. Yeah…there is only so much you can take of that!!!

Photo by Ali Drabo on Pexels.com

There is another issue I have…I realized I have in some cases been too explicit in my explanations. I don’t want to shy away from the fact my characters have complex issues they grapple with. But I think in some areas I have made the explanation of what is happening almost too clinical. They are difficult, provocative subjects, but I don’t need to handle them like a Doctor or a Social Worker. I need to get down on to the level of my characters and indicate just how uncomfortable they are with talking about their weaknesses. I need to learn the art of suggestion, and not be overly graphic or descriptive.

Hmm….writing is such an education in itself! It is truly fascinating to look back at your writing and analyse patterns in your style, seek improvements and enhancements, and learn how to see things from your Readers point of view always.

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4 thoughts on “The Art Of Suggestion”

  1. The standard advice is that the writer should know all these details about the characters, but only give some of them to the reader. Which ones? There’s a dilemma!

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  2. I can totally relate to this, both for my fiction and non-fiction writing. Great writers tend to have less ideas per paragraph, and they do it so gracefully, while I waffle on this way then that. But as they say, the first step to improvement is awareness, so up we go!

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