What Hides In The White Space

In On Writing, On Writing-General by Louisa Leontiades

There’s a concept known in copy-writing and sales called ‘White Space’. Put simply, it’s the white space that sells. Which means that the spaces between your text and the way it’s laid out is just as, if not more important as the text itself.

It’s the same in film making. Some pauses say far far more than the words.  Those pauses leaves time and space for audience interpretation. Some are obviously displayed, that hesitation before the kiss, that hand trembling over the doorbell… but others less so. Some are intentionally ditched by editors because, it’s considered, they add nothing to the story. But what happens in the time between when the character exits the scene and when they enter their apartment? Who gazed at them as they passed by? What did the other characters do off-scene? What’s their story? What happened before? After? If you follow the lead character, as most movies do, you will never find out what happens in between… you will never find out the other sides of the story.

The Husband Swap stayed on my hard drive for around 7 years before I considered publishing it. In that time I reflected on what happened in the spaces in between, what was really going on in my head. What I didn’t write. What we didn’t say. How the knowledge of the background story would show more clearly the motivations for our actions. But the story was published without any of that reflection, thus becoming a testimony to the dangers of polyamory and the slippery slope that the mainstream warned us about.

During that time I became a public voice for polyamory, and yet this work still remained without qualification and encapsulated who I was and what polyamory meant to me as a newcomer. But I’m not that person anymore. Thank goodness.

It’s one of the most difficult things you ever have to do, to go back and look yourself in the mirror to see and relive the pain you went through and worse than that, the pain you inflicted on others. I imagine that this is why we like to blame others. Because seeing the consequences of some of your actions and taking responsibility for them is hard.

But it’s so necessary.

As The Husband Swap gears up for a widely publicised launch in April 2015, I’ve felt increasingly responsible for the story and impact that it might make. Some might ask, why publish it at all then? And my answer is because stories need to be told. Suppressing them and your voice, only serves to erode your self-esteem and the validity of your emotions. Not just me, that goes for everyone. Stories have the power to change the world because they do more than simply share healing and experience (which is nonetheless valuable in itself). My story will resonate with many. I believe it will help readers identify, understand and master their own feelings.

So it will be published. But to my great delight… not without qualification. Along with The Husband Swap, another slim eBook is due for release – ‘Lessons in Life and Love to my Younger Self’, the companion guide to The Husband Swap. Anyone whose supported the campaign will get a copy if we meet our goal.

They say there’s a silver lining to every dark cloud. If The Husband Swap was a dark cloud, then the lessons are the silver lining (they say a picture says 1000 words…but videos do even more!)