Monday, April 6, 2009

Dropping crumbs

With my crumb dropping last week, I have been thinking about the clues we leave in our novels to help our readers figure out the story along the way. 

At the beginning of a novel, clues of misdirection abound. With this image, it would seem completely believable that I was in Africa on vacation as one follower suggested. (Okay, he was being facetious, but still)

Hints and reflections are all that is needed at the beginning.

We don't want to give too much away too quickly. Where would be the fun in that?

Blurs and half images also work.

Norway?

Mexico?

Ah, Epcot!

Disney?

Yep! Disney!


Africa? Nope! Disney World! Little by little laying out the facts and details of the story so that at the end it is completely obvious what is happening--where the story is going and what has happened. At the end there is no more need for ruse or deception. 

21 comments:

Justus M. Bowman said...

Nice post. Glad I could help. Ha ha.

Litgirl01 said...

Ok little red ridding hood! ;-)

T. Anne said...

Hope you had fun! I think foreshadowing in a novel is important as well.

Windsong said...

Very nice. Great post. I love how you showed what you meant through your pictures. :)

beth said...

Your pictures to make points about writing = AMAZING.

Lady Glamis said...

Yay for dropping clues! I LOVE doing this because I write suspense. Great post! And very nice pictures. :D

Alexa said...

Very cool post, especially as I am currently working on my clue scattering :)

PJ Hoover said...

I really love this post, Lois! It's exactly what I've been working on in my WIP. Clues and how best to reveal them. This is perfect!

lotusgirl said...

Justus, Thanks for giving me a good springboard for this post!

Litgirl, Isn't that hansel and gretl?

T. Anne, I think foreshadowing works hand in hand with clue dropping.

Windsong, Thanks! I enjoy doing that.

Beth, wow! It's nice to be amazing!

Glam, I'm glad you like my pix.

Alexa, me too.

PJ, I'm glad you enjoyed. I'm scattering and revealing too.

Litgirl01 said...

Lois, YES...it is hansel and gretl! I am losing it!

Crimogenic said...

Great pictures. I love dropping clues through my novel. The key is not to be too obvious :)

Jenn Johansson said...

Disney World, I'm so jealous! I want to take the kids there so bad! So fun! :)

JaneyV said...

I'm working on this right now. My MC has to uncover clues from the past to sort out the present. I'm having trouble making them ambiguous enough so that the reader isn't shouting "it's so OBVIOUS" at my hapless MC. At the same time they have to be revealing enough to urge the reader and the protagonist on.

Getting the balance right is the hard part.

lotusgirl said...

LG: I knew you knew! Maybe you need a vacation!

Crimey, yeah, that's the trick, and it's not easy to be vague and specific.

Jenn, It was fun and a great place for kids. My eight year old was at the perfect age!

Janey, So true! You don't want the MC to seem like a complete moron. It is hard. I tend to like to bury the clue with lots of other possibilities. Sort of like red herrings, but not to that magnitude.

Snow Family said...

How fun! I was wondering where you guys were! We are doing Disney in the fall. I'd love to hear what you enjoyed on your trip. We'll have to chat about it soon. We've never been with our boys and I am overwhelmed reading about all that is there!

Kelly H-Y said...

I bet you and your family had a blast! Thanks for the great posts along the way!!!

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Looks like a fabulous trip. Your pics are awesome.

Litgirl01 said...

Oh yeah...I definitely need a vacation. My brain hurts! :-) Glad you had a great time!

lotusgirl said...

Alexis, I'd be glad to talk to you about it. There are a lot of strategies to make it more fun especially with little ones like yours.

Kelly, I'm glad you enjoyed them.

Rebecca, Thanks! It was a great trip.

Litgirl, I hope you get a vacation soon.

Stacy Nyikos said...

Cool visual trail.

lotusgirl said...

Thanks! Stacy.