Room to Breathe: Negative Space in Writing.

“Space is the breath of art.”

American architect Frank Lloyd Wright

Nowadays, a lot of us have had the experience of reading a fast-paced, action-packed book that jumps from one disaster to the next with no room to breathe. And according to most writing advice, escalating plot tension is the “correct” way to write. But it is not a reflection of real life. While many events may happen to us in a row, there is also downtime between events for us to grieve or process changes. There is also a baseline “before”, a status quo before things change. Life before the zombie apocalypse /oppressive government regime/ regulation of magic / dragon extinction, etc…

In a book, these “before” and “during” spaces give the reader room to breathe. A temporary release of the tension allows readers to process what they read and to form strong attachments to your characters. Repeat after me: A story needs downtime. A story needs room to breathe.

Continue reading “Room to Breathe: Negative Space in Writing.”