Go fast

Here’s my storytelling lesson for the day: Go fast. Your readers are not nearly as interested in detailed minutia as you are. It’s almost always better to risk going too fast than too slow, because the former is liable to be gripping while the latter is just boring.

I learned this from two “killing game” anime, where the stories started off with a bunch of named characters, and not long after that many of them were dead. It was surprising, seeing the author throw away these complex characters so readily! But then I realized they weren’t thrown away. To keep them around would have ruined the gripping pace the story was blazing. That was a revelation.

This is a lesson I know intellectually, but I’m not sure I’ve fully internalized it yet. Pacing is hard, and I have a fondness for detailed world building because I’m the difficult kind of reader who asks way too many questions. When in doubt though, I at least try to go fast. After all, it’s better to hold nothing back than to drag on far past my welcome.