Motivation Monday: Muse Less, Declare More

Today’s Motivation Monday is brought to you by a handy and thought-provoking bit of advice from Garrison Keillor. 



It’s an age-old maxim: Trying to show your readers your way through the misty fog of your stories, and themes and motifs. Eventually, the reader will grow tired of such an approach and say, “Give me the facts, already.”

This is where the assertive, declarative you comes in.

Aside from a debate between more- and less-mature philosophical approaches to exposition, refocusing your writing to be more declarative could be as simple as making an edit like this:

“In the dewy morning, lights lining the quiet street seemed to diffuse and spread, leading Laura to feel strange and a bit lost.”

“In the dewy morning, lights lining the quiet street spread into the fog. Laura felt strange and a bit lost.”

There’s not much difference there except the exchange of similes for metaphors, but it feels different, in a declarative sort of way. The air is a bit clearer (no pun intended), so the reader can imagine for themselves what the fog seems like, now that they know what it looks like to you.

Do you agree or disagree? How do you use declarative writing? What’s on tap for your week? Share it in the comments!