Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Making room for the reader

There was lots of good discussion on the LiveJournal comments thread on my post about multiple POVs. A couple of the comments touched on a concept that, for me, extends into other writing issues:

"And I agree that always knowing what a character is thinking and feeling spoils the fun, but I'd posit that it's just as easy to fall into that trap with first person as it is in 3rd." --P Sunshine

"Many beginning writers feel the need to pass on more information than the reader needs, and it slows down the pacing. [As a reader,] I'm all about sorting through the info right along with the main character. I don't like it when I figure things out first, because I get frustrated when I have to sit around waiting for him/her to catch up." --Tabitha Olson

Sometimes we feel compelled to explain everything, tell everything, make sure the reader knows every nugget of backstory and every thought that is going through the character's head. But it's more fun to leave a little mystery, to allow readers put things together themselves. So I suppose my message today is: Leave room for the reader.

Many thanks, as always, for the great comments I get on my blogs. You all really make me think!

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