Withholding Information

I’m studying narrative drive for a series of Story Grid articles and podcast episodes. Narrative drive has to do with how much information a reader has in relation to the characters in a book.

As writers, we want to blurt out our entire story in the first chapter, but that doesn’t work. It doesn’t ring true because in life, people withhold information.

If you don’t believe me, observe the people around you. Listen to what they’re saying, and to what they’re not saying. Pay attention to how you behave with the people around you. There might be one person with whom you share every intimate thought, but you certainly don’t do that with everyone you meet. And everyone you meet doesn’t want to know every one of your intimate thoughts.

It’s the information we don’t have that makes us curious to find out more.

About the author 

Valerie Francis

Valerie Francis is a bestselling author, literary editor, and podcaster with a passion for stories by, for and about women.

Each month, Valerie recommends books from literature’s best female authors. Selections come from every genre because women write, and read, in every genre. The Women’s Fiction category offers up some terrific novels, but these days there’s a strong female presence in thriller, horror, crime, and other genres traditionally dominated by male writers. No matter what the publishing companies may think, in the 21st Century, Women’s Fiction is whatever we want it to be.

stories for women, by women, and about women