Monday Craft Tips #8: How to teach your readers without boring them to tears

Have you ever had that feeling that you’re learning an enormous amount about something, but the information is presented so transparently that you hardly notice it?

This is something that many authors aim to do, tell their readers something interesting but in a way that makes it not painful to read. This is particularly true of historical novelists who have to cram massive amounts of historical details into their novels for verisimilitude’s sake, without making it read like a history book.

So how do authors do it? By wedging little pieces of information into the dialogue, like a sandwich. Think of it this way: dialogue, a sliver of information, then more dialogue.

What this means, dear historical novelist, is that most of that hard-won research has to be tossed, or the reader will become bored. But if your goal is to make your novels easy to read (as well as interesting and provocative) then that is what you have to do.

Just another gem I thought I’d pass along to all of you. Have a fabulous week!

 

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