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  • Coney Zhang

Curiouser and Curiouser! The Beauty of Vagueness and Its Natural Way to Inspire

Updated: Apr 7

This is not something I actively think about, but at some point in my life I realized the benefits of vagueness. Oftentimes, movies leaving me on a cliffhanger ending leave me unfulfilled but not exactly unhappy. And there's a blessing in disguise found in the miniscule amount of lore pertaining to my favorite characters in a game.

Of course, I mean this as a writer.

I like knowing things as much as anyone else, but let's be frank: being direct won't get our brains thinking. If a movie shows an epilogue at the end where the main character is happily married and now has a family, that doesn't leave me with much room to imagine how they got to that point. Because I would imagine it myself that the main character would reach that point. No, the beauty is considering how the main character reaches their happy ending. I want to come up with the answer myself.

So whatever small and seemingly insignificant detail I am given from the canon, I will latch on to it and never let go. For me, those small details can go a long way.

For example, one of my favorite characters in a video game I play is an Opera Singer. Recently, I discovered a vital piece of information about her past, where a teacher wrote her dad a note home saying he should not be considering having his daughter perform at such a young age to bring in money. This made me consider the possibilities of how she grew up and what her relationship with her dad is like.

Singing must've been forced upon the opera singer. Her dad had likely never let his daughter go out to discover if there was something she was passionate about. Why singing specifically to earn money? Would it have something to do with the absent mother that's been mentioned briefly in the past?

And just like that, I let my brain continue to turn in search of answers. Whether I am right or not in regards to what the original creator had in mind, these are the ideas I have come up with myself. And letting myself run off in search of conclusions are, in my personal opinion, a wonderful exercise when writing and coming up with ideas.

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