Thursday, July 1, 2010

Robbing Your Readers

It's Thursday already! Wow! I've been super busy with rewrites and reading manuscripts and family stuff. This week just flew by me.

One of my sisters read my manuscript, GREYSKIN, recently and gave me awesome feedback (as always), but one thing really stood out to me as most important: I've been robbing my readers. Well, future, potential readers.

My protagonist, Charlie, is a sixteen-year-old girl. She gets thrust into some pretty heavy stuff and she ends up having to go at it alone. My problem was that I was having other characters relay information to her, and I had way too much awesome stuff happening off screen. I kept thinking, she's a teen, her parents keep this stuff from her to protect her. This is an adult situation, she wouldn't know this stuff. She wouldn't be able to handle it, or discover it for herself.

But I was totally wrong. I was thinking with my mom-head and not my inner teen. Not my inner Charlie. Charlie can totally do this! She can handle that! She would so easily figure that out herself! Now that it's been pointed out to me, it's so blatantly obvious. It's embarrassing, really. Hopefully, I can save you some embarrassment.

My Sister shared this great link on author Janice Hardy's blog: and I wanted to pass it on to you.

Think to yourself: would this scene be better if I dramatized it? If the narrator saw it first hand? is it possible for her to discover this herself instead of through a third party?

If yes, do it! happy re-writing!


  1. I struggle with this too at times, and ended up rewriting the last chapters of my ms because of this very issue! Hopefully, you'll notice the difference when you get to the end. :)

  2. I was the absolute WORST offender in this regard in my first draft! Huge, huge chunks of my WiP had to be rewritten, but it was worth it to see my character flourish under pressure.

    Awesome post!

  3. You're right--hard to figure out how to convey that information; it's simpler to just have someone tell them! But I know my mc has to be active, not just a passive absorber of information. Good post!

  4. Excellent post! I was actually thinking about posting about this in the post I did not realize I missed yesterday!

  5. Lol, beat ya to it. I almost missed mine today too. This week is skipping right by.

  6. Good reminder! I was just having a similar issue in my new WIP. I'll have to take a closer look. BTW lovin those first lines on the contest on Adventures in Children's Publishing

  7. Thanks, Lisa! We're loving them too!


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