The Art Of Subtlety: How To Add Hints To Your Writing
Giving subtle hints to your readers is the part they will adore the most when reading your novel. They love putting the pieces of the puzzle together and pretending they found the clues themselves. Why not give them this chance to have fun solving puzzles? We, writers, need to learn how to become more subtle in novels. We need to draw the readers to the clues carefully. Clues are the answers to everything and the authors need to implement them skillfully in the text. Here are a few ways how to do it:
Create an emotional journey of your characters
Unlike outer journeys that show character’s adventures, it is also important to show how emotionally overwhelmed they are in their own world. The reader should feel the inner state of the character. It can either evolve from the outer journey or from deeper inner emotions. By outer journey, I mean such adventures as, for example, escaping from the castle or fighting someone. The spiritual journey can be, let’s say, character’s deep desire to prove something to the world or find true love. When the author learns how to combine inner and outer journeys and place hints, it will be possible to achieve real subtlety in a novel.
Mystery genre can teach the writers of other genres a lot. Here, readers should follow the clues in a specified order. All the clues should be subtle and appear surprisingly in the text at right moments. Keep your style mysterious and surprise your readers with every hint you give them. Be creative. Map your clues logically across the novel.
When preparing your clues, consider a few tricks:
§ They can be ambiguous.
§ They can lead to a few different people.
§ They can be wrongly read.
§ They can make no sense until another clue helps to makes it clear.
Don’t let the tension disappear till the very end
You need to keep readers alert all the time. They shouldn’t feel like they want to skip the whole chapter because it’s boring and different from the rest. The tension needs to grow, not get weaker. Invent characters who seemingly look good to the reader and no one can even think about their malicious intentions. Avoid things that are overly complicated and don’t be unfair towards your readers. You can mislead your readers but you can’t tell them the bald lie.
The tension is critical in novel writing. Otherwise, the reader will have all the reasons to close the book and leave it for “never” to finish.
Alice Jones is a tutor and freelance writer, who is interested in education, blogging and sharing her ideas. She also loves inspiring and motivating people and has spent the last 5 years improving and helping the others to improve. Follow Alice on Twitter, Google+, or find her in other social media, pop in there and say “Hi” to her!