Mental Squint

“When you are describing A shape, or sound, or tint; Don’t state the matter plainly, But put it in a hint; And learn to look at all things With a sort of mental squint” – Lewis Carroll

Another way of saying “show don’t tell” but I think it goes further than that. It is easy enough to say what you mean but more interesting to just hint at it. Keeping meaning clear but not keeping it stated the tried and true, same old way.

6 thoughts on “Mental Squint

  1. I think this blog entry is important for writers. And this blog seems full of great information. Thanks for this.

    What I want to know is why is there a face of a young blond girl with big lips and wild hair? Do you have to let the advertising world miss use children on your site? Can you make cmf change this add? I care about children and and the objectifying of children and women in advertising. I want to stop human trafficking.

  2. This is also saying, ‘leave something to the reader’s imagination,’ something that took me a while to get while writing my first novel. The question is how many hints are enough?

    If you’re interested in YA fantasy, you might like to have a preview peek at ch 1 of my new novel, ‘Lethal Inheritance’ at

    My blog also follows my journey to publication, something you and your readers might find interesting. There could be an idea for a post topic for you there.

  3. I also think the “hinting” and lead the reader/listener there instead of saying it outright is an awesome technique that isn’t used enough in almost any media anymore.

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