Steps to a Story: a better way to share information

My first writing task of my retreat weekend was to finish With Honor.  The next section was fairly straightforward to write.  I needed to share several very specific pieces of information with the reader, as well as finding a way to return to the relationship with Charlotte and Matthew.

My first attempt to complete this section was to have Matthew reflecting on the things that had happened and were going to happen, concluding with a conversation between him and the girl.  It worked, but not well.  It became a bulky, hard-to-follow mess, with time frame switching from current to past to future.  I wasn’t pleased with it, but when I went to bed it was at least completed.

In trying to fall asleep on the air mattress in my screened shelter for the first night, I had a lot of time to work on story stuff in my head.  Just before I fell asleep, I came up with a possible solution.  What if I made the entire section a conversation with Charlotte?  She can ask for the info that the reader needs to know.

Of course, I was trying to sleep so I just mulled it over and left it.  I didn’t want to drag the laptop out once again just to play with the scene; it seemed counterproductive to my efforts, not to mention the light from the computer screen kept drawing little irritating bugs.  So the next morning, after breakfast, I focused on With Honor once again.  It took some tweaking, since the information had to be broken down into different combinations, but it worked!  I’ll revise it once more before it posts, but I think the conversation between characters is a much easier way to share information with the reader.

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