I also remember learning that it's also not effective to create an unnecessary amount of drama in a piece of writing. Drama for the sake of drama. This might look something like starting a scene on a bright and sunny day where birds are chirping and all is merry (cliche, yeah, but stay with me), only to turn it all around and have the sky suddenly dump down a snowstorm (sure, it could happen, but what's the point of this drama?). I know that was a terrible example, but hopefully you get the point.
But what happens when you combine assumptions and unnecessary drama in a piece of writing? One example of this is a recent open letter a Facebook user wrote to an anonymous woman she saw running. The letter starts, "To the fatty running on the Westview track this afternoon:" The first paragraph goes on to completely knocks the recipient of the letter down, basically calling her fat and slow. The drama comes into play with a sentence placed between the first and second paragraphs: "There's something you should know: You fucking rock." How is this form of "praise" and "admiration" effective? This open letter goes one to say things like, "Every shallow step you take, you carry the weight of more than two of me, clinging to your bones, begging to be shaken off. Each lap you run, you're paying off the debt of another midnight snack, another dessert, another beer."
Who wants to hear descriptions of how she moves at a snails pace and takes frequent water breaks? This "fatty" doesn't want to hear statements like this any more than the writer (probably) doesn't want to hear how she's so skinny she would disappear if she turned sideways, or how she's looks so frail and weak.
I know I'm a few weeks late on joining this conversation, but I can't believe the positive reinforcement this letter is getting on the Internet. How is this twisted form of praise inspirational?! I get that the larger intention of the letter was to give a compliment, but the approach was completely off base. It's only furthering the all too common practice of focusing on a woman's appearance and judging it against what the media says a woman should look like. Also, how does the writer of this letter know that this "fatty" is insecure about her appearance anyway? Maybe she's running on the track because she enjoys running. Running isn't about performance for everyone. Maybe it has nothing to do with health or weight loss. Maybe that track session is the only time that woman has to herself on any given day. She doesn't have to think about work, or her obligations at home. She doesn't have to think about anything at all if she doesn't want to. She can just run. So what if it takes her twenty minutes to run a mile? So what if her "sweat drenches [her] body after [she] leave[s]"? Shouldn't one sweat when running? Shouldn't running be a struggle? Isn't that what makes it fun?
I'd like to offer a revision to this open letter, one without unnecessary drama or outrageous assumptions.
To the woman running on the Westview track in early March: