Cron handout: “Yes, as in just about everything, coffee is key.”
I should probably write those down. The origin scenes, anyway. I go through them in that movie theater in my head, or act them out to the walls when I’m home alone (which is probably why the neighbors look at me funny sometimes) so I’ve got a good idea about what happened. I didn’t want to write myself into a corner, though, because revisions are soul crushing. (even though the OS doesn’t go /in/ the manuscript, I may have a call back, flashback, or quote of it somewhere.)
Rasley Handout: “A new writer often thinks, ‘I better tell why this person is the way he
is early, or I’ll lose my readers’ identification.’ Or ‘I have to explain everything about how we got to this point, or the readers won’t be able to follow the events.'”
Been there… done that… My t-shirt says “In My Defense, I Was Left Unsupervised” XD
“We’re told of, not shown, her flight from the past.”
Yup! Show, don’t tell, all over the place. It’s everywhere! But holy crap it’s good advice.
Not leaving your characters/readers enough to DO really hit the mark with me. Yeah, I’m all about sitting around watching someone else play video games, or watching/listening to leaves rustle in the breeze, but I’m still watching them DO something. There is movement. And cussing when said friend gets the big KO after forgetting to save for an hour. XD
The point of “Wait until the readers need to know it” though… I did an exercise with a friend a while back. We re-wrote the first chapters of our favorite series as a sort of style exercise. There was a bit of information about a world-specific law that was needed. The MC mentions the thing that makes her think of the law, then explains it. I took the information and put it in just a little earlier (because it seemed like an interruption to me) and my friend loved it, because … well I guess she got that hit of dopamine when the info was needed and she already knew it, but she called it feeling “in the know” about the world.
From that experience, I’d probably adjust this to… Wait until just /before/ the readers need to know it, unless withholding it until THAT MOMENT is more satisfying or near the end of some buildup, or… well hell it was just the one situation with the one book but I’ve used it in my stories and never got negative feedback on those sections, so… yeah lol
Author of Renn and The Springfield Chronicles