Tag Archives: writing

Don’t Complete The Puzzle!

Don’t complete the puzzle! So says Malcolm Gladwell, author of Blink, The Tipping Point and countless New Yorker articles.

If you’ve read any of his books or articles you’ll know what he means. A perfect argument is too obvious and boring and doesn’t engage people. Maybe the first 3 paragraphs will, but that’s as far as people will get before moving on to another article.

I can attest to this – the article has got to grab me in the first paragraph, never mind 3, for me to stay with it. I need some large puzzle pieces to be left for me to figure out where they’ll fit.

I began Malcolm Gladwell’s Writing Masterclass this week. He’s an incredible storyteller, and demonstrates the imperfect narrative in his stories, as he meanders from one story to the next until, finally, he comes full circle to where he began only to leave the listener, or reader with an open-ending, for the listener, or reader, to figure out for themselves.

This is irritating but it’s what keeps people talking about the article long after they’ve finished reading it, trying to put the puzzle pieces together. Humans love puzzles because we have a need for things to fit just so, but life isn’t always a neat puzzle.

So the key to memorable writing is to write an incomplete puzzle, an imperfect narrative that draws people in and keeps them talking long after they’re done with it as they try to solve it and make it fit just so.

 

The Observer With A Lens

Mslazyboots in Himalayas wrote something that resonated with me. She said that:

“The more you document your life, the more you check in, you tweet, you blog, you capture moments, the more you do all of this stuff, the more you make stories out if it, and if you do that much, you become a spectator to your own life.” (Mslazyboots in Himalayas).

I like the proposition of using this blog to document my life. Not everything but most of it, especially the fun parts. The wandering and wondering parts. Especially where there are lots of photos to accompany it.

Then there is the part of becoming a spectator in my own life. The 1st position of being a part of it and also observing it, from 2nd position. That is an enticing prospect because of the insights from the past that I will get, and applying the learnings from that into what I do going forward.

That is why I blog and post photos.

Many times the words are inside me, roiling around, lost in my critical notions of what should see the light of day and what must remain in the dark, locked inside me, the depth of varying degrees, the conversation eclectic, chaotic and noisy.

When this happens no words come out and instead I post photos, like a silent 3rd position, the observer with a lens.

 “When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” 
― Ansel Adams

 

Reblog: 45 Ways To Avoid Using The Word ‘Very’

I don’t like using the word ‘very’ for various reasons:

  • It sounds insincere
  • It is overused
  • It is not professional
  • <insert your own>

And yet there are times when that is the only word that I can come up with, almost like a shortcut. The problem with shortcuts is that they are context specific and subjective which can lead to a lack of understanding. So a quick way to communicate can turn out to be just the opposite.

I was delighted to read this morning Writers Write blog post on 45 Ways To Avoid Using The Word ‘Very’ – click on the link to get a useful table of what words can be used instead.

 

The Dripping Thoughts

Writing is supposed to become easier when it is done to express rather than impress. With the latter, to impress, the inner critic comes out, editing in real-time. With the former, to express, it comes out easily and unfiltered. I might have mentioned in a post many moons ago that to write unfiltered takes courage…because…

…and every day I pick up the quill, gingerly dip it into the slippery inkwell of inspiration to catch dripping thoughts before they fall away into the dark depths of the soul.

 

3-Day Quote Challenge – Day 2 – On Writing

Stephen King quote

This is the second day of the 3-day quote challenge, nominated by Vasantha from My Sweet Nothings.

Here is how this challenge works:

  • Thank the blogger, who nominated you.
  • Post one of your favorite quotes (a different quote on each day) for three consecutive days. The quote can be from your favorite book, author, or your own. Remember acknowledge the source.
  • Nominate three bloggers to challenge them.

I will nominate 3 bloggers tomorrow…or not. Maybe I will challenge all of you to post 3 quotes on 3 consecutive days. I will let you know tomorrow 😉