Mumbling about Writing

The high way of writing is telling without telling

Ju Peter Goodman
2 min readJun 28, 2021


Photo by Alex Radelich on Unsplash

“After another moment’s silence, she mumbled that I was peculiar, that that was probably why she loved me but that one day I might disgust her for the very same reason.”
Albert Camus, The Stranger

We write to tell something. That is the common consensus I read. But is it the only way?

Apparently, we write based on knowledge to teach. Stories teach lessons. Life lessons if you want. Other stories aren't stories but raw knowledge.

As far as I have read, good writing has meaning. It delivers a message to the reader.

And it seems the high way of doing it is telling without telling. If you tell your message explicitly is boring.

The gaps talk. Strange but true. Readers like to jump gaps to reach an understanding.

But not any gap. Small gaps go unnoticed. Big gaps don't make the intended sense. The gap must be just right.

Then comes the artistic part. One thing can be said in unlimited ways. That is why we never get out of stories. Some authors even affirm that any story is already told. We just change the shape. The combination of words is ours.

What is interesting is that we sound different in letters. For example, someone could tell us to tell something by writing. While we might convey the same message, one reading turns out to be pleasant, moving or inspiring.

Letters sounding different from a reader who doesn't know our own voice but imposes a voice on us. And without anyone understanding, it results to be a hypnotic voice, friendly and wise. A magical voice that appears from nowhere. A voice the writer will never quite get to feel because it happens in every reader's head.

Another aspect is how authors become our friends. We read this guy so often and repeatedly that somehow we know him. We create an imaginative living figure in our heads. We love that wise guy. A cool guy indeed.

Going back to the first question. Do we write to tell something? I want to answer “yes,” but I have yet to find what I am telling in this reading.

“The best books… are those that tell you what you know already.”
George Orwell, 1984



Ju Peter Goodman

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