This photo, as always, has nothing to do with this post. I just like it and I took it yesterday.

This photo, as always, has nothing to do with this post. I just like it and I took it yesterday.

Here we are again, it’s Tuesday and I’m asking myself that question: Did I Write This Week?

Answer: Yes. But not very much.

Previously, I talked about how irritating it was to me when an author purposefully withholds information from the reader to artificially create tension. I brought this up on reddit and a user hit the nail on the head with what bugs me about the technique (u/vivifiction to be precise):

There’s talk of magicians in another thread here, so let’s think about that. I think writing is a lot like performing magic. If you’re watching a magician and you see one of their slights or moves, it ruins the whole trick. It’s not because you thought the magician was actually using sorcery and the disbelief has now been crushed—of course you know it’s a trick—but there’s a sense of wonder that accompanies seeing something you logically accept as impossible but also created.

It goes the same for writing, but it’s on an emotional spectrum rather than a physical one (meaning the magician is physically performing a trick). A scene like the one you describe can be executed well if the author has emotionally primed the reader for the revelation. As it currently stands, it seems cheap because, as I’ve said, the reader is left in a space where they realize, on some level, “The author knows who this is, the character knows who this is, but they’ve both decided to not tell me because they’re trying to lure me to the next page.” It’s the same as seeing the magician’s card up his sleeve, and you think,”well, that’s sloppy.”

That’s what I hate about the technique, it’s sloppy magic.

So, how did I do with the writing this week:

It’s nearly a constant struggle to try to make a little bit of time each week for a creative endeavour. This last week was no exception. In fact, if I hadn’t have forced myself to just sit down and knock out about 45 minutes worth of work, I would be stuck in a situation where the answer was no. ↓ Read the rest of this entry…