Are you saying enough on your page? Or are you explaining it in prologues or footnotes? Or worse: in your chats and inbox?

As I critique, the most common issue I see is the authors 'telling' where it’s not necessary, while they are NOT saying things I want to know. And none of them are creating suspense. No.
It’s creating annoyance.
It’s as if, you want me to feel the need for an answer. But you’re not even giving enough words to raise the question in the first place.

In SFF worlds, you are using weird names, proper nouns unknown to me without an explanation alongside. Or you’re putting the explanation in a prologue, or footnote. Or worse, you’re explaining it in my inbox or the comment section or as a P.s. after the chapter.

Question of the era: Are you going to explain things to your readers, inboxing them one by one, when they ask these things?

Then put your explanations ‘On-Page,’ right where you say it first.

Sometimes, adding two or three words is enough.
For example, you’re saying “World United” with first-letters in the cap. So, I’m guessing it’s the name of something. Could be a political org, could be a sports org, could be the name of a state or ship, or even a bookshop. Who knows?
But add a few more words and say what it is. Like: “She then joined the World United Coding Competition” or “She then joined the World United, a coding competition that happens all over the world.”
Yesss! Now I like it. I'm with your 'current' line without asking myself questions or pausing or trying to go back and find if it's mentioned before.

Reminder: even if you've mentioned it before, say it again. You don't want me to go back and search for it. Remember, how many times, in Harry Potter, the author keeps repeating the half-moon glasses, the half-giant, the lightening bold, the ginger, the freckles, the muggles ... Worldbuilding happens through right-placement and repetitions. If it's enough, readers start living in that world. Make it as familiar to me as my messy living room.

So, better explain in books than in your inbox, or Goodreads’ “Ask Authors”, or worse: needing to explain stuff in your book, putting a “5-star-Rate” and a “Review” yourself in Amazon or Goodreads, where most readers won’t even be reading your review!

Explain everything properly 'inside' your book. Otherwise, readers will start skimming. They won't prefer living in your world.

Previously, I’ve talked about what kind of descriptions exactly make readers skim your chapters. You’ll find the problem with list-of-activity verbs. But on the page, you’ve to answer all sorts of questions that come to readers’ minds which will lead to ‘confusion’ rather than 'suspense.'

(Note: Remember about suspense too. Don’t answer your plot-point too early. And world-building or setting is not plot-point, don't hold them fo suspense. Visit this blog for what questions you must keep for later, which things work as suspense)

Did this post help you? Do you think the things mentioned here make sense? Or do you disagree? Let's discuss this in the comments!

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