Too much information: why writers should conceal their research

Editing_and_Proofreading Blog_363Researching a book often takes a lot of effort. Sometimes people get really into their research, and are really keen to share all their fascinating knowledge.

The crucial thing is to remember that there is a place for sharing, and it usually isn’t in the book. Yes, that research should shine through, but your reader should be unaware of it.

Suppose you have a dispute with your neighbour, and you go to talk to a solicitor about it. Do you want to hear a string of fascinating stories about court cases involving hedge height, or noisy music, or whatever the problem is? No. You want a professional who clearly knows what they are talking about to tell you how the problem will be sorted out. You sense the rest of the knowledge is there, but you don’t have to know the detail.

For writers, just like other professionals, it can be difficult to know how much is enough, but it is important to strike that balance.

Now repeat after me. The place for the back story is in the background.

And if you must show off your knowledge about whatever it is, why not offer your services as a speaker to a local group? Anyone who has to organise a monthly speaker will be interested in a new act, and you might get yourself some new readers.

Visit my websites via the links at the top of this page.

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About The Proof Angel

I am a freelance editor and proofreader, working with a wide range of clients from large companies to individuals. I can help you to communicate clearly by carrying out a final check, or by suggesting ideas get your message over. I also have a sideline in textiles, as The Rainbow Angel.
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