How’s it going? The cover for my science fiction story is finalized, and now I’ll have to go back over the story itself to get things ironed out (I think I screwed up some verb tenses here and there–which is strange for me).
I’m working on an email set for the self-defense niche (new for me), with a client I’ve never actually talked to (not that new for me, especially for the blurb for the property inspection book I did for an Australian client–but for 99% of my clients, I manage to chat with them over the phone).
This is the kind of change I like–just a few things at a time. That reminds me of something you do to eggs–tempering, I think it is. If you’ve got a warm liquid, you pour a little bit of it in the beaten eggs at a time, or you end up with scrambled eggs (that’s fine, but not if you’re making cake or something).
You can and should shock your readers–but then you have to work after the shock to get them familiarized quick as you can so they still want to read what you’ve got to say. That uncertainty is the shock, so to speak. Your readers are your eggs, and your email, fiction, or what-have-ya is the liquid. They don’t know what you’re going to tell them, until you tell them. They may not know you or your client either.
That’s why “what DO they know?” is such a powerful thing–it’s your starting point to build the bridge between them and you (or them and your client).
If a man is piloting a spaceship, some people know about that stuff. But if he’s going to Alpha Centauri, that’s where you’ll need to start the bridge–by using his personality and background to have him interpret what he finds when he gets there…but be more interesting than that admittedly lame description, all right? He’ll naturally be exploring the place–as long as he’s not fleeing a space-axe-wielding, crazy ex girlfriend.
If an alien life form with three heads is piloting the ship to Alpha C, you’ll have more work to do because you’ll have to intro your readers to how that life form lives his, well, life. And in a way that makes it so they’re not human (which is why I haven’t gotten very far with any of my fiction involving non-humans–and sure, I have some of it, including a rocking course assignment I did, way back when).
Or if someone is struggling with something, and you have a solution (hitting the real world and copy, now), you can start with that because that pain is what they know, and move to your solution. How does this help them get from the pain to a life without it?
People know a lot about a lot of things, so you can trust them to figure it out. As long as they get all the pieces and assemble them in the right order, that is.
Without change, you and I can’t grow, and neither can characters or prospects. But growing an inch over a month is better than 6 inches overnight (if you have a choice).
Tomorrow is Triple F. Be sure to stop by.
Until next time,