I recently attended a master class for piano. Although I’m not a musician, I was fascinated by the weaving of melody that the young students were practicing. When the instructor said, more, more, the piano got louder. When he said, less, less, the sound diminished.
I saw many similarities to the practice of writing. We have choices in our stories for more, to zoom in our imaginative cameras in order to capture details and description in distinctive ways. And we can position our cameras both in the distance and in between for variety and depth, for truthfulness and individuality. After all, art imitates life, and art would be boring if a camera was always focused in one position.
In the book Writing for Your Life, Deena Metzger states, “Language contains the possibility of revelation.” In other words, language can reveal or obscure. When we have learned to use all of our senses and powers of observation, to see, hear, smell, touch, and even taste, we move closer to answering the questions, “What is it that I really want to say?” and “How can I say it with honesty and authenticity?”
These questions, along with positioning one’s creative camera, will result in interesting writing. I tell myself that slowing down my mind and paying attention to detail will allow the words to come.