Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Get Your Readers Involved

“Write for the reader. Never deprive them of the chance to participate.” -- William G. Tapply in The Elements of Mystery Fiction
I struggle with this in my stories, especially since I write flash fiction for the most part. How much information does the reader need to know to understand why a character acts as she does? How much description do I need to include to bring the reader into the setting? Can I simply say the main character is sitting on a park bench? If what the person looks like doesn’t matter to the story, should I let the reader decide? If the appearance provides the reader with pertinent information, how much description do I need to include? I tend to leave too much up to the reader. At least, that’s what people critiquing my stories tell me. This is an area I need to work on.

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