Every day I work on hiding things while writing, as in, hiding the "shiny objects" (my editor calls them that)—the things that are revealed at the end of each block or each scene (kind of like the stepping stones that make the readers keep turning pages). The surprises. The mini-plot turns.
If you spell it out, it's boring.
Make the reader dig for them!
Here is how I do it.
Before I put down a single line of writing, I think, "Can I hide it somehow beneath something, and reveal it later? How much can I hide and for how long to not break the reader’s patience?"
Invariably it results in me not putting down the first thought that comes to mind (it used to), but thinking first though several options and THEN putting down the one that’s most plausible (or at least seems the most plausible) and the most interesting and the most curious, as in, it makes the reader to find out what it is I have hidden (and so, to keep reading…which is what we want!).
Here is an example.
In T.U.B.E. I have a little girl Katya sell moonshine and make good money. I have another character, Rita, talk about her to Olesya (the hero), and tell her Katya sells moonshine. But that's the "shiny object" shoved right into the reader's face, so...instead I have Rita tell Olesya how militia wants to catch Katya, and when Olesya asks why, Rita tells her because Katya makes more money than them!
See, I've hidden it. Now the reader wants to know, how the hell does a little girl make more money than grown men?? And now I can stretch it out a little further and reveal that Katya sells moonshine later (and then have the reader wonder again, where the sell does she get the moonshine??).
Stephen King is very goo at this. Read him.
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