Stephen King is the boss! I’ve learned as much about writing from him than anyone, except maybe John Irving.

I can’t remember which one of them said this, but one important concept to grasp about description is, “Trust your reader.”

Readers already know how big rabbit cages are. Most of them have seen a rabbit cage. So when you write, “rabbit cage,” a picture forms in their head. You’ve already done your job as a writer at that point! More words just distract attention from the story.

If your readers are focusing on your words instead of on your story, says John Irving, one of our foremost living literary authors, then you have a problem.


Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot.

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