As writers, why do we need validation? I know I do, because I want to be sure I’m correct in my gut-feeling that I was born to write. So I search.
Today, I found an interesting series of articles by The Atlantic’s Joe Fessler, aptly named “By Heart,” where authors talk about their favorite passages in literature. He’s condensed the best writing advice from those articles into a handy-dandy overview. I found it chock-full of validation.
“One thing I think is true about successful storytelling: There’s as much significance in what’s left out as in what’s actually said. Of course, our initial impulse is to want to give lots and lots of context. Here we are at this location. Here’s how we got here. Here’s what it looks like, and so on. That tends to be the easy stuff. The hard part is non-disclosure. This is really a crucial tenet of narration, perhaps the crucial tenet—and it’s not an innate skill. How do we learn how not to tell things?”
– Reif Larsen, excerpt from “How to Write: A Year in Advice from ‘By Heart'”