Wednesday, August 2, 2017

IWSG: Trust Me! I'll "Get It."

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a community of writers who share ideas and encourage other writers. It's a great place to express doubts and concerns as well as offer and receive tribulations and guidance from other writers. IWSG posts the first Wednesday of every month. I think you'll find it to be a great writer's resource that's well worth your time. Be sure to stop by and visit with some of the other IWSG writers/bloggers at IWSG Members.

Join me in thanking this month's awesome Co-Hosts:  
Christine Rains
Dolarah @ Book Lover
Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor
Yvonne Ventresca
LG Keltner

IWSG Question: What are your pet peeves when reading/writing/editing?

Great question!  How much time have you got?!  Just kidding.  I'm going to address this question as a reader.  I think those of you who know me will confirm that I read and review a lot of books.  Probably more than I should as it cuts into my writing time, but being a lifelong lover of books, an avid reader, it's hard for me to cut back.  There are a few things that ruffle my feathers when I read, but I have to say one of the biggest - once you get past editing issues - is trying to read a book when the author obviously doesn't trust me!

What does that mean?  It's kinda like the "show, don't tell" rule, but it goes beyond that.  It's when the author makes me feel like a child by holding my hand and blatantly directing me toward the identity of the "villain".  In other words, instead of subtly weaving the clues/hints into the plotline/story for me, the reader, to pick up on, the author states them in words or obvious character's actions.  Nothing spoils a story much quicker for me than having the "answers" shoved in my face.  I want and need an author to trust me to "get it" as my reading experience is enhanced by figuring things out for myself.  

If an author has done his/her job, they will have crafted a twisted story with a trail that manipulates readers in the direction they want them to go (ideally with a few heart-racing intentionally misleading detours) without hand-feeding them the story.  In simpler words, the authors write their story and trust the readers to figure it out on their own.  The trail should be a curvy one with some surprises, even a shocker or two, but what it absolutely shouldn't do is state anything in words that will lead the reader to look in only one specific direction.  It's a fine line to walk, I know, as I struggle with it as a writer also.  How do you show, not tell?  Through actions, not just words.  But even then, an author needs to take care not to reveal their ace in the hole too soon - don't spoon-feed the reader information.  The bottom line is authors should trust their readers.  Trust me, we'll figure it out!

Have you ever been guilty of "spoon-feeding" your story to readers?  What's your pet peeve when reading/writing/editing?


  1. Writers can sure want to spell things out for us to make sure we get exactly what they want us to know. They just don't realize that this isn't necessary. Readers are smart. That's why redundancies and repetitiveness bugs me as well.

    1. So true! One of my favorite genres is Romance/Suspense, and I've had too many mysteries spoiled for me by an author that didn't trust me to figure it out for myself.

  2. I LOVE being surprised in a book! That's the absolute best . . . and the hardest thing for a writer, to make it an "I never saw that coming!" and not a "Seriously? Where did that come from?"

    1. I loved to be shocked!! Puts a big smile on my face...once my heart stops racing. And you're right, of course...the author must lay a trail - just don't want it to be too obvious.

  3. That is especially irritating in a mystery or thriller, but any time an author doesn't trust the reader, I give up on the book. I like it at the end when I realize all the clues were there, interwoven into the story, and I missed them. That's good writing, because I'm pretty observant, lol.