8 thoughts on “The Writing Life Cont’d: The Sccoby Doo Imperative”

  1. How like a writer to ignore the pos­it­ive com­ments. I would think that beau­ti­fully writ­ten is good. Gripping is good. Gripping is very good.

  2. Of course, in a Barthesian sense, you can write the author out of the equa­tion, and a book becomes a col­lab­or­a­tion between the read­er and what he’s read before.

    So there.

  3. Thanks for your com­ment, Roger. Meh 🙂 Gripping is OK. This prob­ably just reflects the pace, which is pretty tight. There’s always some­thing new around the corner. I’ll see what my second read­er thinks…

  4. I’ve heard a lot of read­ers say that they HATE it when an author is very obvi­ously ‘explain­ing’ everything to them. It comes across as pat­ron­ising. One com­ment I got for a short story was that the read­er liked the fact “I assumed he could keep up.”

    In the same way, my col­league and I were dis­cuss­ing the west wing. What with the alco­hol murdered brain cells and the unfa­mil­i­ar American polit­ic­al sys­tem, we agreed that we prob­ably only ‘got’ about 70% of it. But we wouldn’t want it any sim­pler.

    I think the things you leave out are just as com­pel­ling as the bits you leave in.

    So please don’t have a Velma-esque explan­a­tion of who­dun­nit. I think you’d be sur­prised how many read­ers wouldn’t need or want one.

  5. Thanks for your com­ment, Roland. At present, this is only an idea I’m rolling around; I’ve just passed the manu­script to two good friends and I’ll hold fire to see what they think. If I were to have a Velma-esque sec­tion at the end, I’d try to make it as integ­ral as pos­sible. Or I might just remain will­fully obscure!

  6. Too many char­ac­ters could mean that too many were intro­duced all at once (i.e., you put them all in the first chapter).

  7. Thanks for your com­ment, Linda. They’re intro­duced over the course of the first chapters; the first two chapters, for example, have only the two prin­cip­al char­ac­ters. I’m cur­rently wait­ing on feed­back from two oth­er read­ers, so I’ll see what they think.

    Many thanks,

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