When you’re writing a novel, it’s easy to get lost in the worlds you’re creating. It’s hard to see what you’re not telling the reader because you know what’s what and who’s who. You lose sight of what is and isn’t on the page.
But you must let the reader into the world of your novel. You must give the reader the information they need to understand what’s happening. You must get over the hump and just come straight out with exposition when the readers need it.
Repeat after me.
I am not transcribing the thoughts of a fictional character in a fictional world. I am telling a story.
I am not recording a conversation for posterity. I am telling a story.
I am not transcribing the way people speak in real life. I am telling a story.
I am not withholding information and being intentionally vague because I think it creates atmosphere. I am telling a story.
I am not keeping the reader at arm’s distance. I am telling a story.
My characters are not just characters. They are storytellers. Because I am telling a story.
I am telling a story. I am telling a story. I am telling a story.
Do not write to be true to the characters in your fictional world. Write for the people in our world.
You are telling a story.
Need help with your book? I’m available for manuscript edits, query critiques, and coaching!
For my best advice, check out my online classes, my guide to writing a novel and my guide to publishing a book.
And if you like this post: subscribe to my newsletter!
Art: Where the Water Lilies Grow by James Aumonier
This was timely. It is hard sometimes to separate the world in my head and what has actually made it to the page. Thank you, for the encouragement.
You give the advice I need to hear. Using the chart you published a few weeks ago, I am structuring a novel ( I am telling a story) Thank you for all you share. I greatly appreciate it.