You – as a writer – have the challenge of putting you visions and ideas down on paper with words.
Most of the time you can clearly see everything in your head, and sometimes you forget the reader can’t. This is what I’m calling a ‘Writer’s Blind Spot’. There’s a slight gap in what you know and what needs to be conveyed to the reader, and it’s very important for you to make everything clear for those who will read your work.
You have a perspective on the story that no one else can have, because it’s in your brain as your own creation. When you type (or write) it out sometimes little details that you know aren’t communicated to the reader. This can cause confusion.
A good way for you to make sure that everything is coming across clear and makes sense (and that you haven’t left out important details), is to have someone read your work and give you feedback.
The feedback most specific to the issue of a ‘Writer’s Blind Spot’ would be confusing wording, or lack of information that’s somehow integral to the story.
If a reader (for any reason) finds a part of your story confusing, or says it doesn’t make sense, you should at least take that into consideration and go through the scene again to see if you can make it more clear.
If something is confusing for the reader, it’s not their fault!
As a writer it’s your job to make sure that what you’re trying to get across is getting across, otherwise you’re failing the reader.
I know that the first reaction of a writer is sometimes, “What? Are they stupid? I couldn’t make it more clear!” But, if that was the case, the reader wouldn’t be having issues, now would they? (And I’m sure some of you are cursing me right now for saying all this! LOL) As it happens most times with critiques, once you calm down, you start to see the merit behind such comments and realize your mistake. Make sure you don’t lash out at your reader, because again, it isn’t their fault!
You have to keep in mind that every time a reader stops to question anything, they’re being taken out of the story. If they have to go back two pages to see if something makes sense or if they just read something wrong, it takes them out of the story.
You never want your reader to be out of the story!
That’s why I say its a failure on the part of the writer. If your reader can’t ‘enjoy the ride‘ of your story/book, then what’s the point of them reading it? You aren’t going to get fans or loyal, repeat readers of your work if they have to re-read everything to understand it!
Take the time to get reader’s feedback, and when they give it to you… Listen! Because the readers aren’t stupid — they’ve noticed that you’ve failed them.
©Rebecca Besser, 2012. All rights reserved.