cl0ckw0rkf0x: (Default)
[personal profile] cl0ckw0rkf0x
I listened to a podcast story a couple of weeks ago, by Peter S. Beagle, called Gordon the Self Made Cat. It was cute, and it had a clever ending that I should have seen coming. And telling others who are unlikely to bother hearing the story, others guessed the ending when I got to that. It made me think, "why didn't *I* see it coming?"

And then I remembered a critique I got a year ago on the novel version of the Eyelet dove, where the critiquer said, "I know you're writing, and I should have seen that coming, but I didn't think about it, I just kept reading..." (this critiquer is going to love "the Box")

I think there was an immersion factor. The same way a stand-up magician redirects your attention to his other hand while he sticks the orange foam ball in his pocket. Then the ending comes up faster than you can stop to think about what the ending is going to be. When you're paying attention to the story, as long as the pacing is good, you don't think about what's going to come next. When I was telling the story, there wasn't that immersion, and the ending was obvious. Avatar was similar, it's so pretty and so real, that most people don't stop to think "This is an old story told a million times already."

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Date: 2010-03-14 03:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That's largely what I'm talking about when I talk about pacing issues and framing issues in my writing: The failure of immersion for the reader. Their suspension of disbelief becomes un-suspended.


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