Tuesday, April 20, 2021

3T Writing Tidbit

Oh, those whys!

One of the things I didn't understand the first time I  got notes from an editor was so many whys. Why did the character do this and why was the world the way it it was? Why didn't the hero do this or that--and why did he then do the other thing?

The reason I didn't understand was because I hadn't yet learned to put myself in the place of the reader. I knew the answers in my head, or I could make them up. The reader...didn't.

Your reader will have questions, valid questions about things in your story. Here's one.

Why is the hero going into that vampire-infested lair...?

One way to handle revealing the answers is to have an internal monologue. I must rescue the heroine. Another is to have non-point-of-view characters ask. "You're going into a vampire-infested lair with only your wits and fists? Are you nuts??" Another way is to show the reason. The heroine appeared briefly in the third-floor window. "Hero, you promised you'd protect me from this lair of vampires--!" A clawed hand wrapped around her face, yanking her abruptly out of sight.

Whatever you choose, always remember the reader's valid questions must be acknowledged in some way in the story.

Published since 2009, over the years I've accumulated various items of writing wisdom. The Third Tuesday Writing Tidbit showcases these items in no particular order. Click here to see all 3T Tidbits.  

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