The other day I was at the supermarket and I saw a woman with some seriously crazy hair. It was white and looked like cotton balls stuck all over her head. I wondered if she knew her hair was looking a little off, and then she took it off. It was a hat! She’d tucked her hair into the hat, and to a stranger, the hat looked like her (weird) hair. She KNEW it wasn’t her hair, so when she looked in a mirror, it would never occur to her to think her hair looked weird, because her subconscious knew it was only a hat.
Do we do something similar as writers. When I hand off my manuscript to my beta readers, there are so many parts of the story I have in my head, do I remember to put them all down explicitly for the reader? Every so often a readers will ask a question, and I’ll wonder why they would ask such a thing. Isn’t it OBVIOUS?
Perhaps not. We run into this danger, especially in a series. I’m working on Book 5 of my Coded for Love Series, and I just assume readers of the book have read the other 4 and know every minute detail the way I do. Bad assumption.
So what to do?
Get a fresh pair of eyes. Have a stranger read the book and put question marks in the margins where they have questions. Have you ever experienced this in real life or while reading a book.