Ensure the trunk of a narrative is more substantial than the branches

Tags: Writing

When writing, ensure that the core theme of an idea isn't overshadowed by subordinate notions, qualifiers, or caveats. If the "branches" outweigh the trunk, the theme will be lost. Present the qualifiers fairly, but ensure that they occupy less space by compressing them, in contrast to the extended detail granted to the core idea. Remember the priorities of the piece, but also that the trunk is never the whole tree.

  • Note for future links: this applies to strategy as well; there may be temptation to drift off into branches, but the energy needs to focus on the trunk


Flaherty 2010