Writing Excuses 5.18: Offending Your Readers
Key Points: Eschew the egregious offense of over-explaining. Don't talk down to readers. Be careful of racial and gender demographics, BUT don't make your characters stereotypes, either. Be inclusive, but mostly, make your characters people. Burn the strawmen, dynamite Potemkin villages, and don't stack the deck. Don't moralize or preach, trust your readers. Let them read the story, learn who the characters are and what's happening, and draw their own lessons from it. Theme and realizations are one thing, soapbox orations are another. Finally, beware broken promises, especially when it is a shortcut that defaults on what could have been. But we'll come back to broken promises another time. That's a promise.( The best offenses are good defenses? )
[Brandon] I'm going to break it and say you have to... your writing prompt is to write... what was it, a vampire romance? No, a werewolf romance that does not appear it at first... that does not break any promises.
[Dan] Looks like it's going to be hard science fiction.
[Howard] Start with space opera... er, not space opera. Yeah. Start with hard science fiction, move into werewolf romance... in three paragraphs?
[Brandon] This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, and you're stupid.
[Dan] You're out of excuses and nobody likes you.
[Brandon] Sorry, I couldn't help it. Don't be offended.
[Howard] You're out of excuses, and Brandon has no self-control.