Let’s begin with another foodie term first though, shall we?
I promise to get down to writing in a minute here. Do you remember when “plate”
became a verb in cooking circles? The food channels and recent popularity of cooking obsessions necessitated
the term to refer to how a chef presents a well-cooked meal. The term is
plating. “Let’s plate up this masterpiece. It’s all in the presentation.” 
Same’s true for writers with “carroting.” Let
me explain. When you, as the writer, keep things from your readers, you “carrot”
them along—as in bait them to follow you. This is a necessary technique. You
don’t want to not do this! However,
you also don’t want to overdo it either. 
Carroting has its uses. You can use secret-keeping to hold a
reader’s interest. It’s a tool of engagement. And keeping readers engaged is
key, right? But there’s a fine line, and there are some techniques to keep in
mind. Plus, no matter what, you’ll always have some carroting going on because
you need to keep that story question in question until near the end of the
story.
So, how can you tell if you’re frustrating readers? And how
can you best use this “carroting” technique? 
First things first: your opening chapter is not the place to frustrate your reader. First
chapters have enough question marks (in the sense of unanswered questions).
Readers are trying to get into your story world, to get to know the characters,
to discern the story question, the stakes, the genre elements specific to your
work. They’re trying to bond with your POV character, to sympathize, to find
some common ground. They’re trying to get into that character’s head. Deep POV
helps them do this. However, if you bait them with senselessly unanswered
questions, you won’t make friends with your readers. There had better be a good
reason for not divulging information. We’re in his/her head, and
s/he knows why Aunt So-and-So is standing on the front porch carrying a
shotgun. Let’s hear it. 
Note: Unsure if you’re frustrating your reader? Have unbiased folks
give your manuscript a read. They’ll tell you. 
The issue here (with keeping secrets from the reader) is
that the point-of-view character obviously knows the answers, and if we’re in
deep POV, we should too. Otherwise, the secret-keeping feels contrived, forced,
artificial. (Now, there are times when the POV character does not know the answer. In mysteries, for example. Great! Carry
on with secret-keeping.) So, your best strategy is to know deep POV (First KEY). Study it and practice it. Editors can
tell if you get POV or not and we can tell if you’re using “carroting” incorrectly,
as your main means to keep readers engaged,
especially where that opening chapter is concerned. 
Second KEY: have
more than one means of engaging the reader. Use character sympathy, action,
suspenseful elements, etc., to keep your reader engaged. Don’t have one inane secret,
which just happens to be your main POV character’s secret, be the only means of
hooking the reader. Have more things up your sleeve.
Third KEY: find the balance. Like with every other area of writing, we need to find the right balance between secret-keeping and divulging those answers.
So, let’s summarize:
* Above all, avoid frustrating the reader.
* Don’t overwhelm readers with too many unknowns in the
first chapter. 
* Have more than one means of keeping the reader hooked
(engaged) in the story, particularly in that all-important opening chapter. (Especially
if it’s obvious the POV character is dancing around the answer.)
* Take advantage of deep POV. Don’t be too far removed. That
doesn’t mean share everything the POV character knows, but it definitely
pertains to not keeping readers in the dark. 
Use carroting wisely, and like with plating, you’ll have a
great presentation!

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