There are writers whose style is all about being in-your-face, bluntness, shock-and-awe, heavy on the action and sparse in the food-for-thought category. I’ve read them, I like them, I admire what they can do.
Then there are other writers who are more about subtle influences. Deft touch. Shifting pieces around on a chess board without explaining the motivation behind each move. A bit more cerebral if you may. I’ve read them, I like them, I admire what they can do.
I consider myself, as a writer, more in the second category. I love nuance. Setting a course by suggestion rather than pointing. For me, what isn’t said is almost as telling as what is.
But writing isn’t a black or white endeavor. Left or right. We can be ambidextrous. We can stomp on the accelerator to create as much chaos as possible, and still utilize understated symbolism to drive home a key plot point. Meaning is defined by much more than scale, and a light hand can sometimes resonate with a reader more readily than a banshee with a bullhorn.
At some point along the way we’ve all heard the phrase “trust your reader”. In a way it goes against common convention. Your readers are not equally intelligent, or insightful, or interpretive, so how can you shape your prose to universally reach as many as possible and therefore create that trust? The simple answer is you can’t.
All you can do is go broad and hope your nuance doesn’t get lost in the translation.
That's my two-cents for the week. For those of you who celebrate it...