#6 Be clear. Mystery is used in every genre, and a big reveal lies at the heart of a lot of fiction. (Not, I would argue, a lot of fiction that you actually RE-read, once you know the reveal, but I digress.) Jot down a couple things that you absolutely want every smart reader to KNOW after they’ve read your story. Keep the list short; 2 or 3 things. Now go back and make sure that you’ve given the reader enough of a push to get them to those destinations. Being mysterious isn’t a plot point, it’s an atmosphere. A reader will grasp at whatever you give them, and if you don’t give them enough, they won’t get the same things out of your story that you want them to. If we can’t all arrive at some kind of truth together, then we might as well just finger paint together instead.
August 20, 2009
Writing Rule #6