[DWJ] authors' thoughts on knowing

liril at gmx.net liril at gmx.net
Tue Oct 9 11:30:10 EDT 2007

I think this discussion can be tied in to questions of "world-building". To my mind, "rich" and interesting worlds are those where not every point or detail is necessarily relevant to the plot, explored or explained. This way, the invented world seems real, because it "exists" beyond the story we are told. (ObDWJ: Ha! I can do this: Not all the places on the map must be visited!) 

To my mind, this can mean that some mysteries exist in this world that are not explained in the story (and of course, there's a fine line to this becoming annoying - also a great starting point for sequels...).

Example: Sabriel - importinat points in the mythology remain unexplained, not all precints are used. And much as I enjoyed the sequels, Sabriel did not feel "incomplete" to me.

Concerning withholding plotpoints /cheating narrators: I've been thinking of our discussion about "The Thief" recently as I've read Lord Darcy ('nother recommendation by this list I enjoyed!). 

Spoilerfree comments (and therefore possibly incomprehensible...): Much as I liked the stories, I was at two points quite annoyed because I felt cheated by unreliable narrators. At the end of "Too many magicians" I went back and rechecked word by word. And while there is no acutual falseness, it is very misleading. It annoyed me much more than the possible information withholding in "The Thief" (were I honestly didn't mind it very much)), because these detective stories are puzzles that somewhat seem to aks you to try and figure it our yourself, whereas in "The Thief" the (possible) unrealiability of the narrator could be seen as literary device. 

Of course, later I was annoyed that I fell for the same trap a second time (Ipswitch Phial). All part of the fun. :-) Now, there is a third Lord Darcy story (Napoli Express) where there is a similar "trap" for the reader, very efficiently laid, but without (or definity with very little) "cheating". Even better!

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