This one time at Writer's Camp…
Brief Saturday Note
For the first time in a long time, there was a featured article about Haiti on the news today. For those of you who don’t remember, Haiti was hit by a massive earthquake in 2010 that killed about 200,000 people and caused another 1.5 million to be homeless. Granted, a lot has happened since then in terms of 24/7 news, but somehow you’d think that we’d remember something that massive and deadly occurring so close to the mainland U.S.
Occasionally I’ll ask someone “So how do you think Haiti’s doing?”. They usually stare at me blankly for a minute until they recall that Japan wasn’t the only major earthquake to devastate a nation lately. However, with the exception of the elections there and the cholera outbreak, you don’t hear anything about Haiti. This is tragic and yet, at the same time, telling.
When writing a story, the writer has the entire world in their head, much like a 24/7 news station. We know everything that’s going on in the universe, and usually categorize it accordingly. However, if you constantly hammer all that info to the reader, eventually something is going to give, and that’s usually events which occurred much earlier in the novel.
Can’t focus only on the now and expect the reader to follow your overarching plot line, can you?