What Lies Beneath

That was a terrific film. We have it at home on DVD and will watch it again soon. There’s something deeply compelling about it and that’s the word to keep in mind – deeply.  Think about whatever has maintained your interest in any book. It’s not what is stated. It’s not what the characters say directly. There has to be a good plot of course and a real story but that which holds the interest most of the reader (and I might say, the writer too) is that which is hinted at.

The ocean mirrors the sky in many ways – colour, temper, movement. A clear day and you have a brilliant, blue sea. Stormy weather and the ocean surface chops up into white caps on a grey surface. All the time, what goes on in the deeps is another story. You can’t see what is happening down there. You get a hint at the surface with a fin perhaps emerging briefly into the air. If you watch a lagoon at dawn when there is no wind, you will see the ripples which inform you of the fish beneath. Only when you climb into the ocean and get under there you can see the rhythm of life – the interlinking patterns between coral and small damsels glinting blue and green in the lacy network or the clown fish (Finding Nemo) nestling into its symbiotic relationship with the anenome.  Even there, hints of other deeper relationships which emerge from beneath the coral heads at night wait to be revealed.

Keep your reader guessing or expecting the development which reveals the deeper meaning, the relevance and the revelation that link your protagonists into something even they have not fully been aware of at the story’s beginning. Hint, don’t reveal. Allow the threads to knit up slowly. Allow your reader to guess what might come next but don’t grant the answer immediately. If you’re the writer you will find you will enjoy your writing even more as you negotiate the possibilities. Who knows, you might find a eureka of your own.

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