So I’m writing a story about two women and a robotic cat that acts like a dog. Woff Woff!…
My writing group read the first page then asked me, which woman owns the cat-dog? My jaw dropped. Then they read it a second time. “Oh, I see now.”
Why did it take two reads to understand what I thought was obvious? The answer is – I didn’t make it clear to the reader. The premise of the story I had in my head. I understood who the characters were and where the story was going. The problem was… I didn’t make it clear to the reader. What if this story made it to my blog? You as the reader would most likely miss something in the story and would have questions or gasp!- stop reading my story and move on to the next thing.
This is the perfect place to interject a RANT:– The showrunner for the AMC show ‘Fear The Walking Dead,’ discussed season 4 episode 10 “Close Your Eyes,” which aired August 19th, 2018. On the aftershow live broadcast “The Talking Dead”, executive producer Andrew Chambliss talked about a scene that was interpreted differently from his vision by viewers. What he envisioned was a family of four safe and healthy inside their home. They decided to sleep/camp out in the living room over a cozy fireplace for warmth and light. Before morning they all died of asphyxiation because the chimney was clogged. Since the airing of the episode, I’ve listened to several Podcasts talking about that scene and no one got it right! Not One Person! Everyone had their own interpretation of what happened to the family. I ask the question…Why? – The answer – The showrunner did not make it clear to the viewer. Oh, he stated that there were clues pointing to the explanation he wanted viewers to figure out, but no one uncovered the easter eggs he laid out for the story.
Back to MY story. Was I clear who owned the robot? No. Oh, I hinted at ownership.
‘Your pet is in my way‘ and ‘ Crockett was her pet, her family.’ It was clear to me who owned the robot, but not the reader. To fix my current problem, I’ll have to change the narration. ‘In a vengeful mood, Nissa threw a lithium-ion battery at Allie’s robotic cat, hitting it between its blue-grey artificial eyes.’
I’m not sure if that line will be in the story, but the reader will know who the cat belongs to.