The story you tell yourself

It's a pretty standard technique of comedy, horror, drama: the story you tell yourself is going to be far, far funnier, scarier, more dramatic than anything I, the writer, can tell you. This is why a story that says as little as possible is almost invariably far better than a cumbersome, lumbering narrative...thing laden with achingly heavy sacks of description and staggeringly tedious monologues.

Look at the pictures below: same sort of joke, even pretty much the same wording. But the context, when accompanied by those very sparse words, immediately makes you generate two entirely different stories — effortlessly! Fabulous stories! Hilarious stories! Wondrous stories! And that's my job as a writer: to give you just exactly what you need — and no more — for your amazing brain to tell you a fabulous story. We're a team, you and I.

Suggestion is the height of the writer's art, regardless of the form, and it's pretty much the entirety of the poet's. The less I write, the more you get.


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