Fiction writers face a similar “curse of knowledge.” They know a lot more about their characters than the reader will ever know, and the key task of the writer is to put just the right amount of information on paper to convey the essence of the character without sharing the full character development sheet (something that could include details such as their favorite food and the titles of the last three books they've read). Certain actions by key characters won’t make sense unless some relevant information has been provided beforehand (I've caught myself at times wanting to tell the readers to just "read it again" to catch what they missed on the first read). The sequence in which information is provided is therefore critical, yet the writer can’t dump all that background in the first few pages either.
The main difference is that experts can keep talking to fellow experts, be brilliant, and go on to win Nobel Prizes. As long as they're not asked to teach college freshmen, they'll be fine. A fiction writer who is brilliant in his/her head but can't transfer that magic on paper is not going to be very successful.
- (Article) The Curse of Knowledge - Harvard Business Review Magazine - December 2006.
- (Series of blog posts) Made to Stick for Writers - Writer Sense - August 2010.
- (Book) Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die - Chip Heath & Dan Heath
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