Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thoughts on spoon- and force-feeding

So I posted a sizable brain download on Tuesday, and here's the upshot (lol, yeah, there's more.)

I've been wondering how much "spoon-feeding" the readers I can do before my gut starts yelling OMG SHUT UP. Not just muttering it. Yelling.

It has yelled OMG SHUT UP at other writers. The first time it happened to me was in the middle of Umberto Eco's Name of the Rose. Believe it or not, I had never skimmed through a section before that umpteenth dissertation about medieval philosophy. It felt like cheating.

More recently, I started reading Neal Stephenson and no, I don't feel bad about skimming anymore. I don't care about international monetary policy and he can't make me.

So many toys in the toolbox
But in the interests of pushing my own envelope, taking control of my own voice, using all the tools in my writerly tool-box, etc., if/when I do get around to that m/m fantasy romance that's burbling in my head I will try to slow down and see that the readers are better fed.

Logically speaking, it's a good place to try it. So far, the story is set in the Saints of War universe, but there's no connection to Disciple at all. It's shaping up to be a one-shot. It's already aimed at a slightly different audience, as an m/m romance, so it may well be the first book of mine that some readers see. (Whereas Disciple, Part IV probably won't be.)

Emotionally, it's a lighter... LOL, well, relatively speaking it'll be a lighter story. BTW, this is going to be horrible will still in effect. The pace will be different from Disciple, I can feel that much already, because the characters are different. I'm sure there will be blog posts about pacing while I work on this.

Meanwhile, feel free to complain about writers who force-fed you too much information. Did you stop reading? Skimmed until they got back to the story?


Bluestocking said...

I'm guilty of the forcefeed...but it's usually because other narrative options aren't available or as palatable. I also think people writing SF/F have a little more leeway in getting their worldbuilding across, but people abuse that sometimes.

Liz said...

Yeah, sometimes I skim. But it has to be something that's boring me (or it's book 5 in a series and the author is repeating something from book 1).

Michael Offutt, Speculative Fiction Author said...

I think most people will appreciate some spoon feeding of information. However, knowing when to stop is the sign of a good author. I've no doubt yours will be a perfect balance.

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