How to write fiction

A single reason why to teach readers to read

Kitchen interior with reading girl


Has anyone complained you write like an enigma machine? I mean, that they need a translator to understand whatever you write (and I’m not speaking about your handwriting for I hope you’re not sadistic enough to subject anyone to your spider leg letters[1].

Small note. There are times when we need to learn to write and there are times when we need to learn to teach the reader how to read us. I’m going to speak of the second case. Of the first, there are lots of examples. Of the second, I don’t think it has been really issued outside of videogames. But let’s start with complaining.

We all do. We all need so (to complain). It might be just a way out for upsetting stuff. It is also a way to take it out from the deep and turn its card into fuel for writing. Or the most simple human way to acquire worth. A complaining customer gains worth by complaining and making the customer service’s person at the phone to sweat. Customer is always right until they is too much.

What should you do in front of a tax bill bigger than it should be? You complain. It might not change what you will end up paying for the girl making money out of listening to you; probably has no power at all to change it. All you want is someone to listen to you. It is the thereafter of the decision what is kind of complicated.

Writing is more or less similar. We have complained readers don’t understand how to read us, we can take action. Videogames do[2]. Yes, they’re more interactive than books but that doesn’t mean writing should be fossilized in time just to have an understanding reader. Nor that we have to stuck with modernity just because the aesthetics of older styles don’t fit what the modern reader expects. Have you seen Bernardette and her Victorian attires? Does she conform herself to leggings or does she do as to enjoy her life?


We can learn a thing or two from Terry Pratchett. And not in the joke sense of the writing. He is the kind of author that goes telling you something and PAM! He changed scene. No one complains.

And it is not just because he is famous. It is because he taught us how to read him. At least in Spanish, some editions of his first Disc World books have markers which kindly indicate when he went to the other side of the Disc to learn the anthropomorphic Dead’s secrets instead of following lead in the main plot.

They do something like this:


You don’t need explanations. Just a path of temples to teach you how to use the bombs or the magnets[3]Making the reader to feel like an idiot is not good for the business. No, no. Mario Bros teaches US first how to jump by placing the coins above the plumbs not by extensive manuals.  No one likes feeling their own morosity seeping. Do you? Let SpongeBob be SpongeBob if he wants to, but don’t patronize the rest of us. All right? Let us learn.

Henceforth my advice of the day is to LEARN TO USE THE DELETE KEY and play some videogames so you can learn how to teach others to read you. Try to tell it the same way you tell it to your BBF or your hidden crush or try little by little until you get there. Secondly, YOU SHOULD LEARN TO LISTEN TOO. Writing is a two way path. You learn to communicate, your reader learns how to read.

Any complaint? I’d love to read it as comment. Did you learn something new? Revere my person by giving me a like (giggle). I’m just kidding. A like should come when YOU’RE satisfied with the entry.

Pasto kalo.

[1] Mostly a revelation about MY own illegible handwriting.

[2] Do you simply derise and discard stories cause they have videogame aesthetics? You’re missing in storytelling and narratology. Final Fantasy and Zelda (and some more I don’t know about) are fine craft and their design and interactive possibilities have a dimensionality that require authors. Just saying.

[3] Fort he non playing court, references to Zelda. I don’t play but I can certainly watch the walkthroughs to enjoy the narrative sequences.

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