Wednesday, October 19, 2011

We Don't Need To Know It All Now!

Information dumping is a huge issue for a lot of beginning writers. Unfortunately, that information dumping is also a big reason for agents and editor to want to pass on a project.

We all know that stories need to really get going in the beginning. This doesn't mean it has to be action, but there needs to be movement. We need that energy to get the ball rolling. Unloading a stack of information on the reader early on is a sure way to not only NOT get the ball rolling, but to bring the book to a screeching halt before we even got started.

Part of the reason writers tend to do this, is because they believe the reader NEEDS that information for things to make sense. In reality, this is far from the case. Readers full accept that information will come to us when we need it. We can handle the wait. In fact, we like very much to go along for the ride and discover things when the characters do.

As you think about your opening pages, remember to think of your characters as real human beings. Do we really self-disclose during the first meeting? Probably not, and neither will your characters. Think about what we really need to know and the rest of that information can come out later in the story when the time is right. Think of a trickle of water here. Bring it out when you need it.


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