What writers and others say
“Dot the dragon’s eye, and it comes to life.”
— A phrase used in traditional Chinese painting
“A pint of example is worth a gallon of advice.”
“A story should be a roller coaster, not a train track.”
“The soul never thinks without an image.”
— Aristotle, Greek philosopher
“In any kind of persuasive writing, a critical question to ask is whether your copy brags or whether it proves. And one of the best ways to demonstrate proof is to be specific. Don’t brag that your product comes in a multitude of colors. Tell me it comes in 23 of them. Don’t brag that you can save me money. Tell me how much. Don’t brag that your customers love your service. Have a customer tell me. Specificity reduces the gush factor and gives your writing more credibility — in the process supporting sales/marketing/image messages better than a thousand self-promoting superlatives.”
“To generalize is to be an idiot.”
— William Blake, English poet and artist
“It’s a paradox that the artists who have the widest global purchase are also the ones who have created the most local and distinctive story landscapes. Millions of people around the world are ferociously attached to Tupac Shakur’s version of Compton or J.K. Rowling’s version of a British boarding school or Downton Abbey’s or Brideshead Revisited’s version of an Edwardian estate.
“It makes you appreciate the tremendous power of particularity.
“The whole experience makes me want to pull aside politicians and business leaders and maybe everyone else and offer some pious advice: Don’t try to be everyman. Don’t pretend you’re a member of every community you visit. Don’t try to be citizens of some artificial globalized community. Go deeper into your own tradition. Call more upon the geography of your own past. Be distinct and credible. People will come.”