|||

Early on when I was writing fiction, I never wanted to write to on-the-nose. I wanted to be subtle and not explain my point to the reader.

When Angie and I started writing Along Comes a Wolfe, my intention changed and the more I worked with our editor, the more I realized that what I thought was on the page wasn’t on the page.

(A favourite example of this is that her and I went back and forth on Shepherd’s Watch because my understanding of a window at a cabin was different from hers.)

Now, while working with other writers I see this cropping up. Writers who don’t want to over-explain yet, but hold so much back that there’s barely any meat on the bone of the story.

And the reader suffers.

Because when the writer doesn’t take responsibility for their unclear communication, it’s not the reader’s problem. I am not saying spell it out, but you need to make sure that reader confusion is a bug, not a feature.

And on the other side of this is the need to know your audience. If only a percentage of your readers do get it, but that percentage of the readers are the only ones you wanted, then that’s okay. No need to sand your edges down too much.

But then you can’t complain when someone doesn’t understand it or like it because you made that choice.

Up next The Continuum of Long Term Tags: Notes & Essays As I clean out my previously read articles, I find myself being reacquainted with old ideas that caught my attention. The On Canoeing
Latest posts 22/ Blogging is my Hobby More than One Want Old Posts Why is this particular character on this journey? Breaking the Website, Breaking the Book You’ll get through it 100 Attempts My March Challenge Becoming a Streamer Make your story (and marketing) rhyme What I want to do around here On Canoeing Reader Error The Continuum of Long Term Listen for the music Imposter Syndrome 21/ Tiny Notes Notes on “The Calculus of Grit” Tea Time Log Jams and the Creativity Faucet Thoughts on edits after the fact Low stakes New site, new changes Story Maps To Kate The Harold 20/ New Directions Stability 250 Words 19/ Looking Past the Boundaries Forced constraints