Tracy Chevalier: “Less Is More”

Excerpt from The Atlantic:

…I began writing a novel [Girl With a Pearl Earring] about a Vermeer painting and discovered that, in imitating the Dutch painter’s spare, focused style, I was discovering my own. I do not—cannot—write long Jamesian sentences. I prefer Anglo-Saxon over Latinate words. My characters act rather than analyze. Even as I write this I am cutting words that could be left in, seeing how close to the bone I can get before meaning falls apart. Pretty close, I find.

By using fewer words, I am also giving readers the chance to fill the gaps with their own. “Less is more” encourages collaboration, which is what a book should be—a contract between writer and reader.

Read the full here.

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