Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Writing in the White Space

What is writing in the white space?

It's the ability to communicate a point without actually writing it.

For example, a description of a character: He was tall, six-feet-two, with a nose to match - tall, thin and straight.

This is the author talking.

What's a better way to describe him? Why not let him describe himself?

He caught sight of his six-feet-two reflection in the window of a bagel shop, paused to studied his thin, straight nose both in profile and straight on. Straight on, he decided, always show his nose to her straight on. Never from the side.

Why is this better?
1) You're not stopping the story - there is still action taking place
2) We see through the character's eyes - how he sees himself, he's vain