1. Sydneymum
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    Sydneymum New Member

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    How much to let readers know

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Sydneymum, Sep 23, 2014.

    Hi everyone, I'm totally new here and new to writing so this is no doubt a very newbie sort of question. I'm also wondering if this question is like asking 'how long is a piece of string'?

    I'm writing a romance, where the guy has been separated from his wife for a long time but for various reasons can't announce his impending divorce. The heroine (soon to be his love interest) has no idea and information will be revealed to her slowly. I'm wondering how much to let the readers know early on. I don't want the hero to look like a jerk being interested in the heroine when he is married, but wondering if it's giving away too much from almost the beginning to mention he is separated and it's his soon to be ex-wife delaying the divorce.

    Any advice is much appreciated!
     
  2. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think that the tension of liking the guy but knowing that he's married and therefore his actions are probably inappropriate, would be just dandy. If the heroine is the main character, my first inclination would be to reveal things as she finds them out. There are, of course, plenty of other ways to do it, but I see that as a good default.
     
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  3. Joshua A
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    Joshua A Member

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    I like what ChickenFreak said, but would like to add a slight opinion as well; if the story is told from the heroine's point of view, the slow dissemenation of information would be quite tantalizing, and could certainly hook a reader to continue to find out! Especially if the occasional blurb from the guy came out, giving us as readers information that the heroine doesn't know, but will allow us to sympathize with her even more because she doesn't know that.
     
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  4. Sydneymum
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    Sydneymum New Member

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    Oh fantastic! You guys are awesome. Thanks so much for those great points.

    Yes the heroine is the main character and the story told from her point of view. I was going to have the occasional POV from the Hero to show his feelings both about the Heroine and his situation with his ex-wife.
     
  5. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Well, one of the things that really annoys me in a book is when the POV character knows something important, but the author withholds this information from the reader. That always feels like cheating to me. So, if your POV character was the man in this story, and he knows his wife is going to divorce him, but we, the readers, are kept in the dark, I'd feel very cheated when the truth eventually comes out. That makes him an unreliable narrator, for all the wrong reasons. However, if you're writing this from the woman's perspective, and SHE'S in the dark, then that's fine. We can learn the truth right along with her.

    There is another angle to consider. If we readers know at the start of the book, that the guy is getting a divorce, then we would watch the story unfold differently. We'd be waiting for the truth to come out, and waiting for the woman to discover the truth, etc. And watching how the guy copes with the situation of having to keep everything quiet. Lots of tension to exploit in that situation. (This is what soap operas do, isn't it? We know what happened, but the scriptwriters string the story along by having certain characters kept in the dark.) So that's another way to work this. Each angle has merit. It all depends on the reaction you want from the reader.
     
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  6. khawlaazwar
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    khawlaazwar Member

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    Both ways are amazing.
    From the heroine's point of view, knowing nothing will create some mystery in the relationship.
    Reveling slowly make things very interesting at different occasion.

    Or let her know first and after knowing how relationship goes express it.

    Look, relationship has not fixed path. Anything can happen, sometime people want just love not relationship.

    The decision must must be yours. How you are feeling more. But psychologically, people love combination of mystery and romance.

    Thanks for asking.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2014
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  7. Sydneymum
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    Sydneymum New Member

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    Thanks everyone! That gives me quite a bit to think about. Learning lots from this forum already!
     
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