"Listening is not describing."

Chapter ten, the final chapter, of Steering the Craft is about “Crowding and Leaping.”

Crowding is defined by Le Guin:

It’s what we mean when we exhort ourselves to avoid flabby language and cliches, never to use ten vauge words when two will do, always to seek the vivid phrase, the exact word. By crowding I mean also keeping the story full, always full of what’s happening in it; keeping it moving, not slacking and wandering into irrelevancies; keeping it interconnected with itself, rich with echoes forward and backward.

And leaping:

But leaping is just as important. What you leap over is what you leave out. And what you leave out is infinitely more than what you leave in. There’s got to be white space around the word, silence around the voice. Listening is not describing. Only the relevant belongs. Some say God is in the details; some say the Devil is in the details. Both are correct.

Anyway, so this is the final installment of my run down of this book. I’ve found it incredibly useful as I revised as it provided me with many great reminders.

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