Knowledge is Power

Yesterday I wrote about making assumptions; today it’s time for the flip side of that coin.  The way we avoid assumptions is knowledge, and when it comes to books, knowledge is power.

The author/reader relationship is almost entirely one-sided.  The author is sharing a story with the reader.  The writer has all the knowledge and all the power.  The difficult trick is to find the right way of sharing the information.

In some cases, it’s fun (albeit somewhat cruel) to share the knowledge with the reader but not with the characters.  Those are the times as a reader that you yell at the book, things like “He’s married, you idiot!” and “Don’t open the door!”  It’s also helpful to keep information back, and let the reader discover it when the characters learn it.  (This is where using assumptions can prove interesting.) 

As an author you never want to share all of your knowledge.  The depth of your understanding of the characters and the world of your story is much more involed than the readers want or need.  A good author can use their “insider” knowledge to make the book more interesting and exciting for the reader without drowning them in information.


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