Young Writers Society

Home » Forums » Resources » Research

Revealing too much?



User avatar



Gender: Male
Points: 0
Reviews: 0
Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:22 am
larry says...



Hey everyone! I've been writing this fantasy story for a while. First I came up with an idea, then I made some characters and I'm currently figuring out how the world will look like. I also started writing the first chapter, but here's where the doubt comes in. I accidentally stumbled on a review of the new she ra (even tho I don't watch it) and the OP basically dragged the show saying that you know what's gonna happen next, there's no suspense and that the show has pacing issues. That made me think about my own writing and I feel like I reveal too much info about how the world works. But I don't want to make it too vague either so everyone is wondering what the hell is going on. Help? How do I find that balance between mistery and suspense and not being too vague. If you know what I mean. Also I'll definitely post the first chapter so if anyone wants to leave a review critiquing my pacing issues and such please do.Thanks in advance!
  





User avatar
373 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 46306
Reviews: 373
Tue Mar 24, 2020 4:01 am
PrincessInk says...



Haha that's definitely tough! ;) I struggle with the balancing act too. It's so hard to tell how much info you need to pass on to the reader.

But a suggestion: perhaps you could give just enough info for the story and world to be able to function. Just the minimum amount (unless you want to delve into the types of swords they wear and what kind of breakfasts they eat). The amount needed for the story to flow.

Maybe you could also read over your story with the eyes of a person who knows literally nothing about it, who has never read the blurb or has read it and forgotten (re: me :P ). Or better yet, have an actual beta reader check it out and see if the amount of info you give actually makes sense.

Megan Whalen Turner (author of The Thief series) is fantastic at this. Goodness, she is so good she can withhold information from me without me even realizing she did it until she, or the characters, dropped the bomb. :D I would recommend reading this, but very few, even seasoned writers can achieve her level of subtlety and intrigue.

Anyway, I have a feeling the best thing we can do for ourselves is to keep writing, reading, and receiving feedback from others. So good luck and I hope my rambles give you a little idea of where to begin! :)

~Ink
Hummingbirds, ink, and princesses


  





User avatar
1069 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 114205
Reviews: 1069
Tue Mar 24, 2020 4:17 am
View Likes
Mea says...



Personally, I actually lean on the side of giving more information than I think is necessary! This is because there are lots of different kinds of suspense in fiction, and most of them don't even have to do with the basic question of who gets the happy ending. It's okay to write in a genre that has established conventions about pacing and plot progression, and it's okay to follow those tropes. Have you ever watched a movie where you could feel that something big was about to happen in the next few minutes? This is your "story sense" kicking in, and it's actually a good thing to engage in your readers. (Personally, I love when I can feel that something big is about to happen in a book.)

Because of all that, you might not need your plot twists to be as twisty as you think. Plot twists work best when they're well foreshadowed. Sometimes half the fun is actually guessing what's going to happen beforehand, but not knowing how it will play out or what the long-term effects will be. This is where giving your reader more information can help them feel grounded and invested in the world and story.

One series I would really recommend for learning about information flow to the readers is Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. She tends to err more on the side of withholding information until it's needed, but she really uses the reader's knowledge masterfully to build suspense. Plus it's a great series for a bunch of other reasons.

All in all, I know information flow for me is the hardest thing to figure out when writing. I would definitely say letting others read it and see it with fresh eyes is the best way of judging how you're doing. :)
We're all stories in the end.

I think of you as a fairy with a green dress and a flower crown and stuff.
-EternalRain

I think you, @Deanie and I are like the Three Book Nerd Musketeers of YWS.
-bluewaterlily
  





User avatar



Gender: Male
Points: 0
Reviews: 0
Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:19 am
View Likes
larry says...



PrincessInk wrote:Haha that's definitely tough! ;) I struggle with the balancing act too. It's so hard to tell how much info you need to pass on to the reader.

But a suggestion: perhaps you could give just enough info for the story and world to be able to function. Just the minimum amount (unless you want to delve into the types of swords they wear and what kind of breakfasts they eat). The amount needed for the story to flow.

Maybe you could also read over your story with the eyes of a person who knows literally nothing about it, who has never read the blurb or has read it and forgotten (re: me :P ). Or better yet, have an actual beta reader check it out and see if the amount of info you give actually makes sense.

Megan Whalen Turner (author of The Thief series) is fantastic at this. Goodness, she is so good she can withhold information from me without me even realizing she did it until she, or the characters, dropped the bomb. :D I would recommend reading this, but very few, even seasoned writers can achieve her level of subtlety and intrigue.

Anyway, I have a feeling the best thing we can do for ourselves is to keep writing, reading, and receiving feedback from others. So good luck and I hope my rambles give you a little idea of where to begin! :)

~Ink


I mean, I'd very much appreciate it of you could read it. Although I warn you. It's a pretty embarassing draft.
Thanks for the advice everyone!
  





User avatar
373 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 46306
Reviews: 373
Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:55 pm
PrincessInk says...



@Mea: did you read Muse of Nightmares? That was SO SO good too <3

@larry: sorry, I don't think I can beta-read a whole story now but I can definitely check out a chapter if you post it here :D
Hummingbirds, ink, and princesses


  





User avatar



Gender: Male
Points: 0
Reviews: 0
Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:12 pm
larry says...



@PrincessInk Well if I'm being honest I only have 1 chapter right now so...
  





User avatar
1069 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 114205
Reviews: 1069
Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:13 pm
Mea says...



@PrincessInk - Yes I did! So good! <333 It's actually one of my favorite books right now
We're all stories in the end.

I think of you as a fairy with a green dress and a flower crown and stuff.
-EternalRain

I think you, @Deanie and I are like the Three Book Nerd Musketeers of YWS.
-bluewaterlily
  








The capacity of human beings to bore one another seems to be vastly greater than that of any other animal.
— H. L. Mencken