All writers struggle at some time with the problem of balance between authority and involvement, seduction and revelation. Beginning writers commonly struggle with how much description to employ, and more advanced writers commonly struggle with how much plot is too much or too little. And there is no better place to find answers to such problems than in the Victoria Secret’s catalogue, where the arts of seduction and revelation are so commonly and successfully practiced. After all, the secret of the effective lingerie ad is the same secret at the heart of effective storytelling: to provide, moment by moment, the illusion of imminent exposure, to give the viewer (read: the reader) the uncanny sense that something fundamentally compelling is always about to be revealed. In short, it is the art of the tease, the craft of selective “coverage”, that works to enthrall.

~ Julie Checkoway, “The Lingerie Theory of Narration” in The Practical Writer: From Inspiration to Publication (Penguin Books, 2004)


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