I am obsessed with clarity (perhaps a relic from the TV news days) - and thus sometimes I over share, over explain, overdo.
Reveal, I must remind myself.
Too many facts all at once equals sledgehammer, not story telling.
I have to remember, and I think it bears consideration for others as well, that in real life we don't learn it all, all at once, right?
We reason step by step through problems - and don't always think of the right answers right away, or even come up with the right answers at all. We discover things about other people a little at a time.
Our lives happen one moment at a time, and while sometimes we reflect on past moments that brought us here, most of us don't live in constant recap mode.
So, I say to myself and suggest to other writers, hold back a detail here and there - save it for later. Let characters and plots build block by block rather than laying it all out at once.
I love these writing rules from Elmore Leonard:
- Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.
- Don't go into great detail describing places and things.
- Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.