When my daughters were young, I had a tendency to exaggerate in my story telling. I might say, “Joe Blow was the GREATEST catcher who ever lived.” Or “General YadaYada was the MOST brilliant war tactician ever!” It became a running joke in my family — they expected my superlatives and would crack up or roll their eyes when they came. My eldest, Rebekah, was adamant that I see the movie “Big Fish” about a father who was a giant story teller, exaggerating stories to absurd lengths. Hmm, I wonder why she thought I’d like that one.
Over time I realized that exaggeration can rob a story of its power, as well as damage trust and believability. It took me a while to understand the effectiveness of using the exact opposite of exaggeration — understatement. It helps build a rapport between writer and reader, and it can inject a little dry humor too.
Cartoon courtesy of “The Napkin Dad“
Marty Coleman, Photographer and Artist[ Next Post → ] [ ← Previous Post ]