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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