“Don’t use words too big for the subject. Don’t say infinitely when you mean very; otherwise you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.” –CS Lewis
Yet another of the plagues of storytelling: so much blown-up language, action, and drama that there’s no room for subtlety. This is one reason I really struggle with dystopian novels. The world is ALWAYS ABOUT TO END and EVERYBODY WILL DIE. Yes, in all caps. I can’t stand a book that feels like it’s shouting at me all the way through, trying to get the message across with thesaurus words and big explosions instead of crafting a story that can quietly and effectively slip into your heart.
What are some of your favorite books that achieve that subtle expression? Jane Eyre is the first that comes to my mind, and I think Harry Potter does it quite nicely as well.
PS Because unsourced quotes make me crazy, I managed to track down the source of this one. It comes from CS Lewis’ Letters to Children, ed.