Your story is 50% reader. It’s that mixture of reader and writer that makes the magic.
Which means your story needs to have holes for the reader to fill in. You need that negative space for the puzzle pieces to fit.
I’m not talking about plot holes, I’m talking about giving one sentence the power of two. A book that means what it says is a mediocre book. A book that means more than what it says is a great book.
Don’t over-develop your characters, having them analyze every feeling, or spelling out what every character in a scene is thinking. Don’t follow up a powerful line with an explanation with what makes that line powerful.
Let your words imply as much as they state.
it can be so so hard sometimes, cuz i gotta remember i can trust my readers
And it can be hard to know WHICH holes to leave. You don’t want to leave any ‘this doesn’t make sense’ holes, but you do want to leave ‘insert your interpretation here’ holes.
this is the most important think I have ever learned about writing
I lovelovelovelove that, and I try to do it as much as humanly possible (and plausible lol). I didn’t even realise I was doing it as much when my mentor started to ask questions like “what gender is that person even, you describe clothes and emotions and the nails but either way, too many possibilities” and I was thinking, you can imagine it, I have a picture in my head about (that very briefly appearing character) but, for the narration, it doesn’t matter the character itself but the emotions that they inflict and the “background” that they enable me to give to the main character. Like, some things are not important, you don’t walk down the street and memorise the scenery or even the person, you associate them with specific traits and quirky habits, and how they make you feel and how they make you think. The people don’t usually notice their eyes’ colour, even the hair colour or their clothes(except when it’s very specific to that person). I know, my mother once told me she didn’t notice my father’s eyes are green until ten years of marriage (and they were together 5 years before they got married) so.
I like broad strokes, it makes the reader use their imagination, and keeps things focused yet interesting.