Many of you know that I am in a unique situation right now. I'm working exclusively with an agent on revisions to Relax, I'm a Ninja, but I'm not signed with this agent. I like to call my experience thus far "Writer's Finishing School." I've become a much more polished writer this year. Talking about what I've learned would take posts and posts worth, not to mention information I'm not at liberty to divulge currently.
But I did want to talk about one thing today, and it's something this incredibly intelligent agent pointed out very early on in the process. I wasn't trusting my reader.
What does that mean? It boils down to not trusting that your audience will "get" what you're trying to give them. This leads to over explaining and repetition, which is annoying to a smart reader (and guess what, I hear most readers are smart people).
I honestly had no clue I was doing this until I got it pointed out to me. After feeling like a total fool for about a day, I went to work on trusting my reader to understand the characters/story I was telling.
Revising Void, I'm once again ashamed at how repetitive my prose can be. It's like I'm beating the ideas to a pulp. I can hear my imaginary readers saying, "We get it already! Charles is a powerful wizard! Stacia is the favorite! Coral likes not having magic! For the love, I KNOW!"
One of my worst sins was explaining what was just said in dialogue. It's pretty bad at times. This example isn't from my work, but it's sadly close in some places:
"That's not a good idea," he said. He seemed sure we shouldn't go in the cave.
Uh...duh? At least I've given myself a ton of laughs editing. Just call me Captain Obvious. Anyway, I'm really grateful that I'm learning to trust my reader. It makes me sound like less of an idiot. Too many people already know how dumb I can be at times.