Hampton Roads Writers

Expository Writing

"The unsaid, for me, exerts great power..." - Louise Gluck

What you leave out of writing must be as deliberate as what you put in. Those brain teasers that ask you to notice what is either missing from or wrong with the picture intensify the way you look at it. So it is with writing.

I don't mean to suggest that you should deliberately omit information as a gimmick to engage the reader. But experimenting with subtracting elements from a descriptive passage helps writers become more nimble at establishing tone and character.

For instance, what affect would this have on a description of a landscape if you left out all reference to color?

Experimental writing is born from such choreography and rearrangement.

Today write a piece so that something is left out. Then rewrite it, subtracting a different element. Or, write about something that is missing. You might even make a list of what you miss.


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