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How Much Does a Character Need to Explain

Saturday, March 24th, 2007
1 Comment

The main character of my Noir Fairy Tale is given to contemplating the nature of the universe he’s experiencing and the impact of the plot on that reality. I’ve started wondering if he may be explaining a bit too much sometimes. I can see it’s going to be an interesting edit process deciding when it’s safe to cut down his thinking out loud and let the reader to fill in the details.

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One Response to How Much Does a Character Need to Explain

Thomma Lyn Thursday, March 29th, 2007

I wonder about things like this for my stories, too. What I'm finding is that readers are great at figuring things out simply by the characters' actions and dialogue in the course of the story. It's always a challenge in editing, that's for sure -- how much to explain and how much work to leave for the reader.

I've always liked what Ernest Hemingway said about this very conundrum:

"I always try to write on the principal of the iceberg. There is seven-eights of it under water for every part that shows. Anything you know you can eliminate and it only strengthens your iceberg... It is the part that doesn't show." -- Ernest Hemingway,1958

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