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.
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Art: Where the Water Lilies Grow by James Aumonier