Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The elephant in the room

The elephant in the room, the open secret, the thing that everyone sees but nobody talks about, is prime material for a book.

It's a relief to read about, a relief to write about. It's scary to approach, and liberating to touch.

If we try to write around it, we may end up with an elephant-shaped hole in the story. Everyone knows there's something missing, something important we're not mentioning.

I once scribbled this in one of my notebooks: "You must write about the thing you must not write about."

This may be one reason people started writing in the first place: to name the elephants lurking in the corners.

10 comments:

  1. Been there. Avoidance. Readers will call you out on it every time.

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    1. Critiquers who can point this out are extremely valuable.

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  2. LOVE this post. I want to print it and hang it on my wall.

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  3. I love this. What a challenge to us! At times, I find myself wondering if I "should" write about certain issues that might feel uncomfortable to others. Whenever I get to this point, I tell myself, "Oh, why not?" and go forward.

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    1. Write it. You can decide later whether to show it to anyone.

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  4. I like honesty in writing. So I'd go for an elephant over lipstick on an elephant any day.

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    1. Although I'm finding this lipstick-wearing elephant a fascinating character ... ;-)

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  5. The best thing about this post is that it can apply to any writer. We all do this with *something.*

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