Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Quote of the Day

Today's quote is from Lewis Carroll:

When you are describing,
A shape, or sound, or tint;
Don't state the matter plainly,
But put it in a hint;
And learn to look at all things,
With a sort of mental squint.

I need to take this advice much more often.  I find myself over-describing, throwing in every detail of the setting far-too often.

The books I love take me into a world and let me discover it.  They don't pound me over the head with page after page of detail.  It's the little hints, the offhand comments that convey the most in a story, I think.

Yet I find myself doing the info-dump over and over.  It's like I don't trust the reader enough to leave something to the imagination.

So Carroll's quote is the latest one to go up on the bulletin board over my desk.  Perhaps, with enough reminding, I finally will learn to not "state the matter plainly, but put it in a hint."


Genene Valleau said...

Another good quote!

For me it's a matter of balance. Giving enough of a "hint" to anchor a reader in the important elements that tell the story without doing an info dump.

This is usually something I do at the edit stage--unless I come up with golden words that form an absolutely brilliant "hint." LOL!

Thanks for more words of wisdom!

Paty Jager said...

Great quote, Barb!

I like books that let me add my own imagination and not give me every little detail. i try to do that with my writing.

Sarah Raplee said...

A rhyming quote! Fun!

I like to use my imagination to fill in the blanks, too.