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  • My first reaction was that to say something was enormous is bad, bad, bad! One needs to show it, which you did with the “doubling up”. But “reactions” aside, think this is great for my revising. Can see places where expanding on the sensations, details, or whatever would communicate the emotions much better than just one “show” — one reference to a sensation or a few details. Thank you.

    • Thank you, Marilyn! Yes, you’re exactly right. This is about “showing AND telling” — together. Or “showing AND showing” — using different aspects of the same image to develop it in the reader’s mind.

  • This thought train might be way out there, but this resonated with me while watching this lesson:

    The framework I give it is like good paragraph writing. You have a topic sentence that tells the reader what the paragraph will be about, and then you expand upon that statement with more details to flesh it out or support it.

    I say the above because I don’t feel so much like the examples were just re-wording the same idea or sensation exactly in each iteration. By this I mean, if it was re-wording, then any one of the sentences could be removed and we’d still have the same information. I feel like the initial, more vague or broader, sentence provides much needed context just as much as the sentences that follow provide a more narrow and specific sensation for the reader.

    This may just be a product of the examples provided. For instance, examine:
    “I love to write in the mornings.
    I love to get up in the dark, before
    the family wakes, and wander into an imaginary world.”

    The second sentence is not obviously about writing without the first sentence. If the first sentence is removed, along with the context or grounding it provides, then my imagination supplies all manner of interesting scenarios into the gap. I might find my imaginings (portal fantasies or paranormal abilities) much more engaging, and when I later discover the sentence is about the activity of writing, I might find it anti-climactic at that point. So, the combination AND the order have significance to the reading experience.

    I think that I have a handle on the core of the lesson, to not let certain ideas, sensations or experiences get lost in brevity or be too broad or vague for the reader’s understanding to be in the same ballpark where the writer is hoping it will reside. I just couldn’t help picking at it and believing a lot more is being said and done than simply rephrasing.

    Good first lesson. Very thought-provoking in my case.

  • Nice. That repetition technique is one I’ve been noticing in other writing and working on in my own. The exercise is terrific, but in the second piece of it where the student chooses the second doubling-up reinforcement, it would be nice to be able to scroll back to the original paragraph for reference.

  • Luke Kendall says:

    Thanks Daniel, it’s an excellent technique to keep in mind. If there’s a purpose to a paragraph, some key point it’s meant to convey – or if you’re showing something out of the ordinary – I’d suggest THAT would be the sentence to double up on. Don’t waste the technique on mundane details you want the reader to ‘paint in’ themselves. If you overuse the technique I think it would just make your writing feel laboured.

  • I’d love to see non-fiction examples as well. I’ll have to go back to some of my draft bits of projects and see if I can play with them similarly. I tend to double-up with examples, but I’m not sure that’s really what you’re suggesting. 😉

  • A translucent matron in a floor length chintz skirt and lace shawl read at a side table. She held the large volume with both hands, resting it on her lap to turn the page. Her attention to the story didn’t drift as I approached to see what a ghost would choose to read. Her chin bobbed up then down as she finished one page and moved to the top of the next.

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