Writing workshop

Today I am participating in a writing workshop. It is aimed at people writing about science for a lay audience, but the lessons we are learning are universal.

My primarily take-away is that less is more. Writing words on paper is a lot like making a movie. You can shoot all the footage you want, but your message really only comes into focus in the final edited cut.

We tend to think we need to spell everything out in detail, but the art of writing largely consists of understanding how to trust your audience by leaving out what is unnecessary. If you write clearly, the reader is perfectly capable of reading between the lines.

After all, what is the art of editing? Whether one is editing text or editing a movie, it is really the process of knowing how to trust your reader or audience.

This question of trust is very clear in a medium such as the graphic novel or comic book, in which you can plainly see the space between the panels. That space is where much of the action happens. And as we know, even a child will understand that artful elision.

Take away: Trust your reader. Write less.

One thought on “Writing workshop”

  1. I’m more of a write-more-and-then-edit-more person. But I trust we’re aiming at the same target.

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