Now before you go all postal on me, just relax. I'm a reader. Any writer worth their salt is a reader first. We all read. We love it. So that means you're a baby. (Neiner, neiner!)
Think of babies for just a second. They're small. They can't do much for themselves. They don't know much. They learn in stages.
And that's where I want you to be. Readers learn in stages too. They don't want the whole philosopy and rationalization about how it's better to go to the bathroom in the toilet in the first ten seconds of their life. Babies can't handle that. What makes you think the reader wants the entire backstory of your plot in the first ten sentences? Trust me, they don't.
This is where spoon feeding comes in. I read a lot of manuscripts. I read so many I swear I should move to New York and become a slush reader for a big literary agent. Hmm...maybe I will. No, I won't. I have a teaching job.
Anyway, I read a lot. One of the common things I see is the author trying to shove something down the reader's throat way before they're ready for it. Like trying to feed your newborn baby pork ribs. Oooh, yum. Pork ribs.
Back to the topic at hand. Don't try to force the reader full of information they don't want or need. Spoon feed them. A little bit here. A little bit there. Just enough to keep them interested enough to turn the next page to find out more. That's all.
Another thing I see is the overloaded plate. Like a few pages of background or trying to explain the world or the species or something. Yeah, the reader can't handle that. Babies learn to walk one step at a time. So it is with your novel. Give me one step at a time, preferrably in an active scene. Never just the MC telling me they can feel death. Okay, so I do do that, but the girl feels death and it makes her life more complicated and she happens to feel it right there in history class, so the scene is semi-active, all right? Sheesh. Get off my back already.
And see how fast we morphed into a teenager?
Yeah. So there. Spoon feed your readers.
Two easy things to avoid:
1. Shoving too much down our throats too fast.
2. Overloading our plate with unnecessary information.
So do you get it now? Readers are totally like babies, right? We want to be spoon fed exactly what we need when we need it. No more, no less.
How do you spoon feed your readers?