Spaces Between the Words

It's not just what you write or say that makes the impact - it's the spaces between the words. 

I enjoyed an excellent evening this week, talking about my books and TV work at St Thomas Library in Exeter. 

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This is me reading from my fifth novel, The Balance of Guilt.

And I was reminded of that very lesson, of the importance of spaces, as I spoke. 

I've been to quite a few events when an author has talked perfectly well, with interesting insights and anecdotes. 


I always come away thinking the evening lacked something. 

It took a while to realise what it was. And it was so very simple - the space to absorb, understand, feel and react. 

When someone just rattles of what they've got to say, there's no room to let your imagination seize the idea and dance with it, like the imagination can sometimes so wonderfully do. 

You get a list of information, which does give you get a sense of who the author is, and what they think and do. 

But there's a whole deeper and more rewarding level to be explored when you're allowed the time and space to do so. 

Just like when you're describing a scene in words, you should never go too far and be prescriptive, shut out the chance for a wonderful exploration of the mind. 

So when you speak in public, the spaces betwen the words are vital. To laugh, to sigh, to frown, to smile, and to react in so many different ways. 

That's how to really feel it. And that, for me, is what this strange writing, and even stranger life thing, are all about.