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Don’t hide in the Gaps

Obfuscation isn't a generous strategy.

David Gane
David Gane
1 min read

A challenge I often face with writing these posts is that I know the general idea of the post, but I don’t understand the subtleties.

At the end of a writing session, I sometimes have a lot of words, but I don’t think I ever entirely understand the real meaning of what I am getting at.

On occasion, I still post these. Time runs out, and I have committed myself to publish them. I think they sometimes work, and I hope people can still find meaning in them, but I feel the gaps.

Those gaps sometimes appear in early drafts of a story as well. I don’t quite capture the struggle a character is facing, or worse, I don’t quite understand the geography of a space.

This is one reason I love having a writing collaborator and a story editor. If they read it and it makes sense, the story works. But there’ve been times that I’ve had to go back and forth explaining what a window looks like or how a character navigates a city block before we get it right.

That’s why another opinion helps. Someone you can trust, who presses you to have a purpose in your words so you can’t hide between them. You don’t have to remove subtlety and subtext, but giving a reader enough information to appreciate your writing is an act of generosity.

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Co-writer of the Shepherd and Wolfe young adult mysteries, the internationally award-winning series, and teacher of storytelling and screenwriting.