Revision Exercise: Sticky Notes

Using sticky notes, track what your readers learn on each page. (You could do this once for your ideal audience and once for an unlikely audience.) Use different color sticky notes for different kinds of information–information about characters, about setting, about plot, about stakes, etc. Where does the manuscript start to give more or less information? For example: at a certain point, the purpose of a character’s actions change from new information to playing out or contradiction what we already know. As you look at the arrangement of sticky notes, watch out for information dumps. Remember to modulate: how does the information “tune” a story to its audience and how does a story keep its audience surprised?

Source: Craft in the Real World by Matthew Salesses