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Secrets writers should keep Editor's Notes #103
July 31, 2011
Hello,

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson


In this issue:

1. Secrets a writer should keep
2. Tickled my funnybone
3. Interesting Web site
4. I've got a secret

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1. Secrets a writer should keep
Some of us like to keep secrets, and some of us are real what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) people. There's room in the world for both, but there are some secrets a writer needs to keep.

Here are a few spilled secrets I've seen recently:
1. Giving away too much in the title. In nonfiction, you don't want to give away your main point in the title. Hint at it instead: The Six Reasons You Should Keep A Secret. In fiction, you don't want to tell the ending in the title. Then there's no reason for the reader to bother with your words.
2. Using a prologue to tell what you can weave in throughout your story.
3. Telling what is inside the character's head. Trust your reader. If you show what the character says and does, the reader will figure out what's going on. After all, that's how readers live their lives. We don't walk around with thought bubbles over our heads. Our friends listen to us and watch us to get to know us. We do the same.
4. Telling the reader why you included an element in the story. If you need something in the story, just put it there without explanation or apology.
5. Telling every detail. You know a great deal more than the reader does. That's fine. Tell the reader the least amount necessary to make the point. Too many details slow things down and become boring.

Take a look at your current writing project. Are there places where you've told a secret you should have kept?

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2.Tickled my funnybone
A backward poet writes inverse.

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3. Interesting Web site
Here's a site with loads of helpful links for writers of all kinds.

http://linksforwriters.com

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4. I've got a secret
I've got a secret I'm hoping to tell you in the next issue. I think it's a secret you'll like. Watch for it.

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