Don’t assume

by juliusmsanz

So now you know that you have to think about your story. Hopefully you made your first steps out of your comfort zone and are trying new things.

What is next?

I believe I mentioned this before, but you can’t assume that the reader knows everything that goes on inside your head. It’s easy to write a bunch of words and pages. It’s easy to construct your dream story, or your average story for that matter if you aren’t going for great, but if your audience doesn’t know much about it and you won’t explain it to them, then the audience won’t like it. This turns out to be a very common mistake with beginners. Yeah, it’s cool to put in those little references, to mention all those things that interest you, to throw that curve ball, but if you are writing something to show to others you have to assume that they don’t know about it.

Image(Now, explain it to me like I’m a four-year old.)

Let me give a couple of examples:

“He began to lower the axe on his nemesis. Now Tom was happy, he remembered her, he remembered her face. Alice would be avenged.”

Now this is a very crude piece, but imagine that you had no idea why Tom went on a rampage for 150 pages. Can you see yourself going all the way to see the ending as this? Because I can’t. If you don’t explain something properly, you can’t give the readers the payoff they are expecting. So we just spent 150 pages knowing next to nothing and now you show it to us at the end of the story? I hope I’m getting my point across. Don’t assume the readers know what’s going on in your story. We aren’t dumb, we can pick up some pieces, but if we have next to nothing and you just throw it out there to make it look cool or whatnot, then it just gets frustrating.

“He saw it, the thing with the tentacles, the one who sleeps deep beneath the ocean.”

Another crude example to mention Cthulhu. Yeah I know it, but does everybody else get it?

And these are just two small cases, I could sit here and ask a million different questions about all the little things that writers aren’t explaining or showing properly.

Almost everything must make sense, if it’s in the story it must have a purpose. And if you are writing for others then please don’t assume they know why you write like you write.

For example, that quote and that pic of Denzel are a reference to Philadelphia, a great movie that you should definitely watch!

So, yeah that’s it for today, my head feels like exploding at the moment. Let me know what you think about it, what you’d like to see featured, I’m a big fan of feedback. See you tomorrow!