Tip #22 Don’t Give Them Everything At Once Keep It Going to The End

A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down. A bag full of sugar kills the patient and your story. Give your reader one spoonful of story-sugar at a time, and at the end give them last one and make sure it’s the sweetest.

I have never owed a goldfish, but I know overfeeding them will kill them. So what do I mean? You can kill your reader with too much story at the beginning of it. Hide the story along the way, and make the end of your  the part the reader wants to get too.

Okay, so far I have been giving you theory and too much talk-talk.

Bad examples are hard to find, but we can look at some good beginnings. 

This is the first sentence from O. Henry’s, Gift of the Magi:

O. Henry

The Gift of the Magi

One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies.

Later in the tale the author continues to go gently with us tender reader so we want to continue:

Della finished her cry and attended to her cheeks with the powder rag. She stood by the window and looked out dully at a grey cat walking a grey fence in a grey backyard. To-morrow would be Christmas Day, and she had only $1.87 with which to buy Jim a present.

O. Henry could’ve started the story with the second section, but it’s too much and he knew to build up into it. Remember to do it also, and maybe someday they’ll write about your technique.

Author: Chuck Anderson

Chuck Anderson is an art-student, baker, runner, publisher, and writer who lives in Colorado. https://madcow.press

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