A message from our CEO about the future of Stack Overflow and Stack Exchange. Read now.
2 deleted 79 characters in body
source | link

In case you still want an honest answer, rather than deleting the question,

When you're writing a story, you know all the clues and all the connections. Since you know them already, they might well seem obvious to you.

Are they as obvious to the reader? A good way to find out is to offer the story to beta readers, and hear what they say. If most beta readers get it, but one doesn't, you're probably safe. If most do not get it, they can't all be stupid and inattentive, right? So the fault might lie with you.

In particular, I would pay attention to beta readers from different demographics. It might be that a hint that seems obvious to you, is only familiar to people of your age, or your background. Remember also that some of your readers might only speak English as a second language, in which case knowing that "old Nick" is Satan might be more of a challenge. Especially if a person is also not a Westerner.

Now, explaining the story can feel detrimental to the story, like explaining a joke. It would also not be particularly interesting to those readers who got it without need for further explanation. The solution I would suggest is adding more hints throughout the story. Then, a reader can still figure it out, even if they've missed some of the hints.

Of course, giving the solution to the mystery, so to speak, isn't always a bad thing. In more than one story, understanding how a negative effect came to pass is necessary to negate it. In such stories, the act of restoring a "good" situation is cathartic, and built around the characters finally understanding what's going on. The readers who got it can pet themselves on the back, and enjoy the way the plot progresses from the realisation onwards. The readers who didn't, now finally get an explanation and can backtrack to find the hints at their leisure.

In case you still want an honest answer, rather than deleting the question,

When you're writing a story, you know all the clues and all the connections. Since you know them already, they might well seem obvious to you.

Are they as obvious to the reader? A good way to find out is to offer the story to beta readers, and hear what they say. If most beta readers get it, but one doesn't, you're probably safe. If most do not get it, they can't all be stupid and inattentive, right? So the fault might lie with you.

In particular, I would pay attention to beta readers from different demographics. It might be that a hint that seems obvious to you, is only familiar to people of your age, or your background. Remember also that some of your readers might only speak English as a second language, in which case knowing that "old Nick" is Satan might be more of a challenge. Especially if a person is also not a Westerner.

Now, explaining the story can feel detrimental to the story, like explaining a joke. It would also not be particularly interesting to those readers who got it without need for further explanation. The solution I would suggest is adding more hints throughout the story. Then, a reader can still figure it out, even if they've missed some of the hints.

Of course, giving the solution to the mystery, so to speak, isn't always a bad thing. In more than one story, understanding how a negative effect came to pass is necessary to negate it. In such stories, the act of restoring a "good" situation is cathartic, and built around the characters finally understanding what's going on. The readers who got it can pet themselves on the back, and enjoy the way the plot progresses from the realisation onwards. The readers who didn't, now finally get an explanation and can backtrack to find the hints at their leisure.

When you're writing a story, you know all the clues and all the connections. Since you know them already, they might well seem obvious to you.

Are they as obvious to the reader? A good way to find out is to offer the story to beta readers, and hear what they say. If most beta readers get it, but one doesn't, you're probably safe. If most do not get it, they can't all be stupid and inattentive, right? So the fault might lie with you.

In particular, I would pay attention to beta readers from different demographics. It might be that a hint that seems obvious to you, is only familiar to people of your age, or your background. Remember also that some of your readers might only speak English as a second language, in which case knowing that "old Nick" is Satan might be more of a challenge. Especially if a person is also not a Westerner.

Now, explaining the story can feel detrimental to the story, like explaining a joke. It would also not be particularly interesting to those readers who got it without need for further explanation. The solution I would suggest is adding more hints throughout the story. Then, a reader can still figure it out, even if they've missed some of the hints.

Of course, giving the solution to the mystery, so to speak, isn't always a bad thing. In more than one story, understanding how a negative effect came to pass is necessary to negate it. In such stories, the act of restoring a "good" situation is cathartic, and built around the characters finally understanding what's going on. The readers who got it can pet themselves on the back, and enjoy the way the plot progresses from the realisation onwards. The readers who didn't, now finally get an explanation and can backtrack to find the hints at their leisure.

1
source | link

In case you still want an honest answer, rather than deleting the question,

When you're writing a story, you know all the clues and all the connections. Since you know them already, they might well seem obvious to you.

Are they as obvious to the reader? A good way to find out is to offer the story to beta readers, and hear what they say. If most beta readers get it, but one doesn't, you're probably safe. If most do not get it, they can't all be stupid and inattentive, right? So the fault might lie with you.

In particular, I would pay attention to beta readers from different demographics. It might be that a hint that seems obvious to you, is only familiar to people of your age, or your background. Remember also that some of your readers might only speak English as a second language, in which case knowing that "old Nick" is Satan might be more of a challenge. Especially if a person is also not a Westerner.

Now, explaining the story can feel detrimental to the story, like explaining a joke. It would also not be particularly interesting to those readers who got it without need for further explanation. The solution I would suggest is adding more hints throughout the story. Then, a reader can still figure it out, even if they've missed some of the hints.

Of course, giving the solution to the mystery, so to speak, isn't always a bad thing. In more than one story, understanding how a negative effect came to pass is necessary to negate it. In such stories, the act of restoring a "good" situation is cathartic, and built around the characters finally understanding what's going on. The readers who got it can pet themselves on the back, and enjoy the way the plot progresses from the realisation onwards. The readers who didn't, now finally get an explanation and can backtrack to find the hints at their leisure.