[DWJ] Dogsbody in "Self-Editing for Fiction Writers"

Eleanor Joslin eleanor at dreamvine.org.uk
Tue Jul 19 15:18:16 EDT 2011


I'm reading "Self-Editing for Fiction Writers" by Renni Browne and Dave King, and I was pleased to see DWJ cited as a good example.  "Perhaps the toughest exposition challenge is introducing your readers to a new culture," it says, and prints about a page of the opening of Dogsbody.  Then it says:

	"It takes a lot of self-confidence to drop readers into the middle of the trial of a star god by a council of his peers and leave so much unexplained -- readers never see the hall of blue trees again, for instance, and we don't learn what a Zoi is until near the end of the novel.  And yet, this approach works, in part because the emotions are so powerful that readers are drawn into the story despite the unanswered questions.  Indeed, finding the answers is one of the things that keeps readers reading.  Also, by never explaining her situations, by trusting her readers to keep up with her, Jones pays her readers the compliment of assuming them to be intelligent.
	"And that's a compliment any writer would do well to pass along."

I already liked this book, and now I like it even more.

	Eleanor


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