We’re slipping sideways again today, although slightly on the topic of writing. I was looking though some pictures I took last year and one immediately made me think of writing. If I titled it, I would call it Layers.
Your story, be it a short story or a novel, needs layers. It needs to be more than “start here and go there.” Things are hidden, emotions are stirred, the suspect is there but unknown, clues are dropped, even the protagonist is hiding something, or there are other ways you build layers into the story. You hide, in plain sight, things from the reader. The clues, the motivation, the lover or killer, there in the shadows, waiting for that moment when the light bulb goes off and the reader thinks, of course, I should have seen it.
Here is the picture I took at the Grand Canyon that, to me, shows those Layers.
2 months ago