Yesterday, I had to read this loooong chapter. Or maybe it just seemed long, because almost ALL of it was Tell (narrative exposition). It was SO impersonal, so detailed, so irrelevant, so boring, it was to all intents and purposes unreadable. I kept asking...Is this relevant? Why do we need this here? Do we need this at all? How are all these details pertinent to the story?
Because I have multiple PoVs, I often have back-to-back scenes with different PoV characters. A lot of the time, they haven’t been seen or heard of for several chapters. I often forget that the reader needs to be reminded of what’s happened to them since.
Continuing my series of Interviews with Daiva, and this time I'm picking her brain about missing scenes. When readers complain that a read is not satisfying, that they wanted more, this is often the problem.
If Theme is the hidden meaning behind the literal meaning in our writing, then Subtext is the literary device we use to bring it out.
Daiva has a knack of getting to the heart of a story. She’s done this multiple times with my stories and Rebecca’s. Me and Becca, we’re always gobsmacked, like, how does she do this? I mean, most of the time, we don’t even know what our themes are. But as soon as she points it out, or asks some pointed questions, we go…Oh, so that’s what this story’s really about. Not what’s happening on page, but what’s unsaid and unspoken between the lines---Subtext, which is related to Theme, but first, let’s start with Theme.
Now that Daiva is giving Fall Lanterns a final pass, she’s finding a bunch of stuff I need to change, and chapter length has come up as a big issue. Several chapters needed to be split into two. There’s even one that Daiva thinks might be split into three. Ye gods! How long are my chapters? Answer: Way too long.