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Inside the Shed

Sometimes we are really keen to tell our readers everything, to make sure that they understand what it is that we are trying to say. But in this case a useful piece of advice might be: ‘Think really hard about what it is that you are trying to say, then go out of your way not to say it.’ If you are able to do that, then it is likely that what you are trying to say will be less easily revealed and – when readers do finally understand – the effect will be subtler and more powerful.
So here goes…

  1. Imagine a young character, living in a house with a garden.
  2. At the end of the garden is a shed.
  3. You, the author, know that the character’s dog has gone missing.
  4. You know that the character loved this dog very much.
  5. You are going to describe the character wandering through the garden and opening the door of the shed.
  6. You are now going to describe the shed as seen through the eyes of your character BUT…
  7. …You are not going to mention the dog or the fact that it has gone missing.

Armed with this information and without thinking too much, just take your pen for a walk across the paper and see what happens…

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