speaking to you from beautiful Philadelphia let’s talk about what is in a story that is not in a story one of the big challenges of writing is to get past the problem of over explaining of bogging down the story with having to tell all the backstory all the reasons why things are the way they are why the characters do the things they do why what happens in the story happens and so what we do when we write is we don’t show everything so it becomes a game a challenge of some things being concealed from the reader and some things being revealed so it becomes a art form of limiting what we reveal to the reader and letting their subconscious fill in all the blanks make up for what isn’t explained let’s take a look at this situation strictly from the writers point of view you’re writing a story and not only do you need to anticipate what that story is going to be like for the reader to anticipate will they enjoy this part of the story will they find this part of the story funny that sort of thing but we also need to anticipate what the reader does not know and this is a real challenge me personally one thing I’ll do is I’ll work on a chap and then I’ll put that chapter away I won’t look at it for months and months and when I go back and look at it again all the sudden I realize that my that my knowledge of the story I knew something that I did not put in and without some indication of that knowledge that me as the writer knew about the story the story hardly makes as much sense as it could hardly has as much impact as it could because I left it out I knew I had the information and just because I couldn’t get out of my own head just because I couldn’t remember to forget what I was not putting in the story I left that out but when you hear the advice know your audience basically this is talking about writers should develop an imaginary audience but as they write in our subconscious and a little bit in our conscious mind we have in mind who were writing for and we’re imagining them reading what we’re actually writing as we write it humans actually have in ability to have a built in capacity for this sort of thing because it’s what we use all the time in society when we’re talking to people in our subconscious we are anticipating what our communications seem like on the other side and this is an essential part of interacting so a great deal of our subconscious is devoted to imagining our audience so if you’ve ever heard someone usually at least partially joking I’m not a mind reader to someone else they’re saying basically I don’t know what you’re thinking or you know that sort of thing and yes it’s true we can’t actually get into the minds of other people but we do one of the reasons we have imagination is that we are very good at imagining what others are feeling and thinking one of the big limitations of anticipating when our how our audience is enjoying our stories is that we have a hard time for getting what we know about the story we

have a hard time getting outside of the story enough to appreciate what it is going to read like to someone who has no previous knowledge of the story we’ve we’ve thought about this story we’ve we’ve meditated upon it and we know it so well that we can’t see it with fresh eyes we can’t we can’t we can’t see it with virgin eyes we can’t we can’t see it as if seeing it for the first time what can we do to compensate for this I’m not going to go and look for it but I was reading about Philip Roth the great writer and he was I’ll give you a basic idea of what he was describing that his developing a story so much had to do with what he took out as he every time he went back he would he would go and take out and when I read about this I was like that makes sense what you can do is you can go ahead and work with the whole world of the story you’re writing just write it and write it and write it and write it and write it and write it and then when you go back you can remove then you can work on figuring out what the reader does not need to know meaning what the reader is able to figure out on their own and also let’s ask ourselves well why do we need the reader to figure out what is happening because if you explain everything it’s like explaining the joke it takes all the fun out of it and because we as humans are so good at detective work because that’s so much what we do we go grocery shopping what do we do we go and search for the turmeric spice that we never bought before and it’s a detective work we need to this we are detectives all the time and when we go to read a story we enjoy it more if we get to be more like detectives and also if you explain everything it bogs the story down it slows it down it’s it’s like a piece of software that is needlessly ten times as a resource hungry as it needs to be it it it it takes the fun out of it it does not add to the story it takes away from it if we want our readers to use their own imagination then the story is going to be that much better if you if you allow them to imagine up their own versions of your story think about how much your real life is unexplained of course it’s unexplained there’s there’s no one there to explain it for you when you’re walking down the street and you see the couple passing you who are arguing no one is there to explain to you that what happened was he backed up over her her cat when he was backing up out of the drawer my way and that is the reason for their argument and so every situation you’re you’re in you’re not going to get a back story and this is real life and this this is this is the environment our brains are conditioned to another useful thing to contemplate a lot is how much we allow the readers to make up their own story when they are reading our story go ahead and let them come up with their own explanations if you look at David Lynch films like Eraserhead that movie does not explain it all who the woman with these cloud-like formations on her cheeks who she is and the thing is is that all the evidence presented in Eraserhead the movie ignited at least my imagination and and I got enough evidence to come up with my own idea of what the story was about and put my own pieces together into a complete picture on my own and that picture turned out to be completely it wasn’t until years later that I read that the woman was actually like the woman inside the furnace and I didn’t need to know that it was good enough that I could kind of make up my own version of movie but remember we are in danger here if we don’t put enough evidence in the readers will not put a complete enough picture and they will become bored with the story it won’t be compelling enough there needs to be enough evidence to keep them captivated to keep them interested if they are continually putting the pieces together on their own

the story is working one one thing to keep in mind here here is show not tell the great writing advice and this is basically instead of telling your audience that the protagonist is very very sad say your protagonist slumps over tears drop down onto the newspaper your your your you’re not you’re not explaining to your audience you’re you’re just showing what they would see if they were standing next to your protagonist and sure not tell is this whole strategy of you know what the story is about and you’re you’re doling out bits of evidence so that your reader can make their own conclusions I’ll give you a quick example let’s say that I’m writing a story and there’s a character I start out here’s what I write read is in a state of shock he’s staggering around he bumps into a wall he has to sit down when I go back oh I can just take out read is in a state of shock I’ve all the rest of it is the evidence so that the reader can make that conclusion that may not seem like that big of a deal but when you when you when you start pruning a story like that it makes it really tighten up and reads a lot better and is a lot more exciting to read we have to be inside the story we have to mesmerized the story and know it and at the same time there’s this element where we would be better at it if we could forget somehow see the story as if we don’t know it well one thing you can do is implied narrative while you’re writing you can think about writing in implied narrative so whatever scene you’re working on whatever your characters are doing whatever is happening you can describe things that you think will imply the story on a subconscious level humans are very good and implied narrative they they haven’t they have a master’s degree in implied narrative but it’s also conscious so we don’t we don’t think about it consciously but have you ever met someone where their story doesn’t ring true that is where they’re implied narrative is not matching up with who they are presenting themselves to you as and so subconsciously we are Sherlock Holmes of implied narrative let’s look at some of the implied narrative that you’re looking at right now these drawings behind me okay they are not paper taken from the same tablet where you know what’s the story behind the different quality of paper that are used in the drawings okay I have a one-day-old stubble why that implies that I shaved yesterday but not today what is the history behind that okay I’m bald I always have a I always cut my hair really short why is that what is what is what is the implied narrative of that why is that that all my t-shirts most of them seem pretty well worn out there’s a lot of implied narrative there there’s a story there just in that picture you can when you write a scene it’s a lot of the time it’s like a snapshot but in that snapshot ask yourself what story is implied what what what what evidence leads your readers to dream to to think of to imagine the history behind that snapshot to imagine the what came before and what will go after when you write a scene think of it as a you know at one point just go ahead and take a snapshot of that scene and think about it do you have a character who’s eight months pregnant do you have a character who has mud on their boots do you have a character who’s carrying a torch this is all implied narrative that brings with

it an implied storyline do you see where I’m getting out here you can continue to know your story you don’t need to forget the inside scoop on your story while you’re writing it you can what you can do is you can write it with the strategy of an implied narrative and in that way you can write a story that’s that is that is will be a better experience for people who have never read that story before so it isn’t just show not tell it’s about imagine yourself at a window kind of like you know a bank window and you’re doling out the evidence and and it’s a game that you’re playing with the reader and then needed explanation the whole problem with explaining the story in natural seeming waves so of course you have the storyline where the protagonist is watching the news and on the news it’s basically explaining something that the reader needs to know is happening in the story do you choose to have a narrator in the story you know like in a lot of sci-fi films basically the beginning that just has the narration explaining what the story is about you know it has to do with the debris circling the earth and crew and the drama involves people who work at cleaning up that debris and it’s you have the narrator explaining the story before the story starts for some stories the best thing to do is to have an air raid step in and explain to the reader what’s happening and quietly step out again and the story starts running again one thing that works very well when it works is when when you’re able to explain something to the reader and they don’t even know that that is what is happening and that’s where the scenes and the actions that take place in the story just naturally end up explaining some things the reader needs to know if your protagonist is is say entering a training camp for the first time that experience in that training camp is going to provide a lot of the explanatory things like an Enders game it’s a school so in what happens in school things are explained so in a very natural way the philosophy behind the story gets explained to the reader in a way where they’re feeling like they’re they they are not having it explained to them no for me I would try any and all of these strategies try putting a narrator in try having the narrator only in the story at five percent of the time I have the narrator in the story throughout the entire story leading the reader by the and don’t have a narrator at all it it really depends on the story it’s sort of like whatever the nature of the story you’re trying to tell will really determine what is going to work best remember you are going to be your greatest teacher as a as a writer so go out and and with keeping in mind that every storyteller faces this same situation look search for the strategies other writers have used and look for new ones they have not all been found there are going to be with every year that passes they are going to be new strategies invented and discovering for show not tell and and it’s up to you to to go and search for them and and try using them yourself I hope this has been a contribution to your creative efforts if you like my videos please encourage me to make more hit the like button leave a comment subscribe tell a friend about them the words of encouragement the comments that that people have left for me I read them I thank you very much you are the driving force behind me making these videos those comments are the biggest reason that I continue to make these videos thank you if you have time please check out my storytelling at Sola mission accom bizarre alternate reality fiction presented in episode form follow the misadventures of protagonist Lily at Seoul emission dot-com I hope your writing and storytelling go great and have a good

day I don’t believe in external fate but I do believe in internal fate as an example the fate of an automobile is that it will roll on wheels along a flat surface the fate of a bomb is that it will explode do you see where I’m getting at your mental aptitudes will cause you to be interested in the kind of life you’re going to lead so if you’re worried about whether or not you’re you have what it takes to be a writer the fact that you’re worrying about that shows that your your mental aptitude creates for you a kind of hunger for the creative life and you don’t need to worry about it it is if if you didn’t have the mental aptitude for the creative life you wouldn’t have the interest in being creative in writing that book so it is we have we have in us we are these different kind of mechanisms that determine the kind of lives we will eventually find ourselves leading I mean for me I am profoundly uninterested in accounting and I wouldn’t be very good at it there’s no love lost there I don’t have the mental aptitude for accounting and along with that I don’t have the interest in accounting I leave that to people who find the subject fascinating