Often, as an author you walk this incredibly fine line between things that represent awesome, dynamic and deep storylines and things that will be a total bore to potential readers.
By this I mean, we are tempted to include all of this stuff such as…
– One Million Words Of Back Story
– Every Single Childhood Memory of a Main Character
– Their Favorite Colours and Other Useless information
– Why They Have Those Favorite Colours and other more useless information
(the list goes on…)
And there is a very thin tightrope between this being hugely fascinating to your readers and being a massive story strumbler.
(NOTE: Story Stumbler meaning a bulk of writing that make the reading experience difficult because it is a bunch of super dull writing they’d rather skip and get to the good parts)
As authors sometimes it can me of interest to just us, not them.
It’s not YOU. It’s Me.
I was reflecting on this today actually, because I am at the very start of the very last book of a series I have been working on for ages.
I want it to be worth reading.
I want it to tie up the lose ends.
I want it to hit every single thing on the head for readers so they’re entirely satisfied.
But this isn’t an excuse to pack everything into the story – including the literary equivalent of the kitchen sink.
There is no general rule of thumb really to distinguish what little facts and information to include about characters and settings in your stories. But I think it is important to remember that as an author there will sometimes be things that we want to INCLUDE that may need to be EXCLUDED for the sake of the fact that it is only interesting to us and die hard fans (something that entire readers base will not all be)
Keep things sharp, and to the point. Create emotional tension that doesn’t get lost in the pillows of endless back story. And if you want to include their favorite sandwich or colour, have the character SHOW it in a scene rather than you TELLING readers about it.
So I suppose this is just a friendly reminder. Do you REALLY need to write that? Is it crucial to the narrative? Does it need to be in this story or is it something you can add in later, or as a blog post for the die hard fans you will someday have?
Just a thought.