A Gorilla in a Phone Booth

I am guilty of not supplying readers enough information in my fiction. This is currently my worst issue as a writer. I’m okay at sentence level, but at paragraph and scene level I don’t get much done. As a result information density in my stories is pretty low. I’m working on that.

There is another issue I have discovered in my own fiction, and that is my tendency to put gorillas in phone booths. That term refers to putting something far weirder than the main story into a scene without explaining it. And the result of writing a gorilla into a phone booth is the reader being confused and wanting to know more than they’re ever told.

These two problems are related in a pretty obvious way for me. I don’t supply enough info so things that would have been cool instead confuse the poor uninformed reader. This happens most likely because I work on my story worlds too much before writing anything in them, so there is a ton of information that just won’t fit but even more that is essential but I have difficulty telling the difference.

As I edit I seek to drag those gorillas out into the open with clean exposition. Editing this latest book has been a pretty good experience, and I’m almost to the point where it’ll be out on submission. Looking forward to that, by which I mean, I fear submission. But that’s a story for another day.


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