As we work-shopped our stories at WIFYR, there were always places in everyone’s manuscript where we (the readers) were thinking one thing but the author intended something quite different. Or we were confused altogether.

Sometimes it was frustrating that the reader didn’t get what we thought was so clear, but this is the burden of a writer. Our ideas are amazing in our head, so real and tangible, but they must be clear on the page. The reader must understand what it is you are trying to convey, otherwise it doesn’t matter how cool the idea is in our head or how poetic you think your language. If it doesn’t make sense to your reader, you’ve accomplished nothing. Execution is key.

There are thousands of ways you could say something. Are you picking the right words, phrases, sentences that best evoke the images, characters, and story inside your head? Are your saying what you really meant to say?

It makes no difference what I think the reader should have gotten; they didn’t get it. Write it again. Make it clear. Figure out a better way to say what you meant to say.

One comment

  1. Good reminder, Liesl. Right now I’m striving for clarity in the query letter I just started drafting:)

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