This is so true.
“There’s no real backstory, there’s no complicated explanation about why a kid is hanging out with a talking dog, there’s no theoretical limits placed on Finn and Jake’s adventures, apart from a unique set of basic, malleable physics. It just is, and that’s the kind of unrestrained, uncomplicated storytelling that makes it beautiful.” -Mare Odomo” —
I’ve been thinking about this sort of thing a lot lately. I’m a firm believer in respecting the intelligence of your reader or audience. I also believe that not everything needs a backstory, or an explanation, or to be spelled out and telegraphed home.
I am reminded of an interview with Harold Ramis in which he explained how the studio heads wanted Groundhog Day to include a scene that explained why Bill Murray was trapped in a repeating time loop — a scene that involved a jilted ex-lover and a voodoo curse. I know, right? Obviously, this was ultimately discarded. And not only does the movie not suffer from its omission, it is a stronger and smarter movie because of it.
I recently revisited Superbrothers’ Less Talk, More Rock essay on the language of video games. It’s a thoughtful piece about how to communicate ideas and emotions effectively in games by eliminating the “disruptive talk” — the exposition, the hand-holding, and the noise. I think it’s a solid philosophy for all creative work.
Those are John’s words, not mine. But this is just the kick in the pants that I needed.
I love this article. 132 132 132 132.