Monday, February 20, 2012

Don't give it all away

This post goes almost hand-in-hand with that of last Monday about overwriting.

I have a problem. I've realized this recently. I was reading a friend's story on Inkpop (Daniel Todd Noyes, I'm looking at you) and in the first third of the book, there's this nice moment of not knowing what's going on. Now, having talked with Daniel, I knew what the story was about. I even knew a little about the sequel to the book. And then I realized how good and smart his writing is BECAUSE HE DIDN'T JUST GIVEAWAY EVERYTHING AT THE BEGINNING!!!

I am terrible at this. No, I suck at it. Completely suck at it. When I write, I just become a fountain of information spewing forth and giving my readers pretty much everything. Yeah, even when I'm rewriting and editing.

Now, doing this in a first draft isn't bad. Actually, I'd argue it's a good thing. It's things you should know as a writer. But then, you have to separate yourself from those and remind yourself that you shouldn't be giving away all those details in one giant block, and almost never at the beginning of the story. You need to dole them out in little bits. And sometimes, without your readers even knowing that you've done it.

It's hard. And it's something that I struggle with a lot (if you hadn't gotten that yet). I seriously have to work on not explaining everything in the beginning of my WIPs. But, I think it's truly worth working on and nailing.

So tell me: Is this something you noticed in others' writing? Do you notice it in your own work? Do you struggle with it like I do? Let me know!