At this moment, you can tell what the kiddos I’m watching had for every meal just by looking at my shirt.
Seriously. I have oatmeal on the back of my shoulder, yogurt on my sleeve, and ketchup somewhere in the vicinity of my midriff. No joke. I’m walking proof. (I’d add pictures but I have none.)
However, these traces of food got me thinking. (Go figure)
Shouldn’t the way I write be something like this? Instead of completely hiding something, or saying too much too soon, shouldn’t I leave traces in my story to let the reader start to theorize?
“Oh, what’s that stuck to her sleeve? Is it juice? Ice cream? Maybe yogurt? Did the kids have yogurt for breakfast?”
I think it’s an essential part of drawing in a reader, leaving a little to the imagination. I think each part of a backstory or tale we’re discovering should leave us feeling like we see the world in a whole new light. It should complicate things as well as clarify something in a way that makes us go “That means ____ had a whole different meaning behind it!”
Maybe it’s just me, but wouldn’t you read a book that has this going for it?
Today, let’s try to complicate and clarify. Let’s leave traces so our readers stay hooked and let’s discover what our characters are hiding. After all, you never know what they hda for breakfast until you look closely.