Some time ago, I came across this TED video with J.J. Abrams talking about what drives his creativity.
He talks about the Mystery Box, the idea that what we don’t need to know every detail about a story to enjoy it. In fact it’s what’s left to the imagination that really makes the story. The monster we don’t see. The conversation we see but can’t overhear. The closed door.
I admire J.J. Abrams tremendously. He radiates brilliance and passion when he speaks and his works are inspiring. But…I’m not sure how much of the Mystery Box I really agree with. I love a little room for my imagination to fill in the blanks but I don’t want to be left feeling like I just don’t get it. Lost, probably the best example of Abram’s Mystery Box ideas, left me feeling both ways…And I still can’t decide whether I really liked that or not.
What do you think? How much mystery is enough? Can there be too much mystery or is more mystery merrier?