Every other Wednesday I attend a writer’s club. I highly recommend writer’s clubs to all my fellow writers out there. They are both helpful and entertaining. Anyway, we critique one chapter, from three different authors, each time. At the latest meeting my critique for a particular piece drew ooohs and awwws, I guess they thought it was good. Since then my friends have told me I need to post the advice on my blog. So here goes, pretty basic advice that we all need to remind ourselves of every now and again. This is in the context of fantasy, but I believe it can apply across all genres.
"Trust in your world and trust that I will learn about your world as things come to pass. Don’t feel like you have to tell me every single thing about it. Part of the fun of being introduced to a new world is the ownership I (the reader) feel in it as I “discover” things about it on my own. So, pretend as though everything in your world is completely normal then you will resist the urge to explain everything."
Same applies to characters. Don’t tell me who they are, just let them be who they are. It will be obvious that they are stubborn or flirty or quick witted by how they act.
I know you’ve heard it all before, but sometimes hearing it a different way is helpful.