Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Little did they know…?

The thing that worries me most with chapter four and five is that I feel I keep hinting.

Some authors make a very successful career out of hints – look at author Dan Brown. His books (Angels and Demons, The Da Vinci Code, Digital Fortress etc) end nearly every segment and chapter with a hint of what to come.

‘Little did he know that this information would save his life 24 hours later’…

‘As she went downstairs Susan wondered how the day could get much worse. She was about to find out’.


So it is not necessary a bad thing when it is done well, but there is a fine line between doing it well and it becoming bloody annoying to the reader. Little hooks like these can reel a reader in like a well-caught fish – but these sorts of books are never a relaxing read. They are more like a sweaty gallop to the end as each hint pushes you ever onwards, like a fall of dominos. I can skim-read these type of books very quickly, but I don’t fall into them as I do a Stephen King tale. But that’s not to say I don’t like them, as I do.

Dan Brown’s twisted world of intrigue, myth and fact is very fascinating indeed; but (being very critical here) his style of writing is not as good as his story idea – yet because his story ideas are excellent, this pulls up his writing higher than it perhaps should be. Of course, I am talking about someone whose writing is still very good; you can’t be a best-seller without that talent! But it goes to show that an excellent idea can take you even further…

Chapter five plods slowly. It is because I really need to update the edits on the computer document now, and I can rarely find the time to sit at my home computer for longer than ten minutes. I might have to employ another Dan Brown trick, to be revealed next blog post (and little did she know that this trick would soon change her entire life).

6 comments:

Forest Pines said...

I thought the rule went: it's bad if it's dropping a hint, but good and/or Literary if it's "foreshadowing" ;)

Aspiring Writer said...

This is an interesting post. Look forward to the next one.

Rose said...

agree about Dan Brown- you read to find out what is going to happen not for the pleasure of reading- in fact reading becomes quite stressful.

That said I think a bit of hinting to provide intrigue is very good.

I read the Da Vinci code on a holiday, I was so engrossed I was literally getting in at 11am after a night out and reading even though I could hardly see I was so tired

Jayne said...

Hello Forest Pines! Good point ;)

Jayne said...

Thanks AW! The next post is in... sorry to leave you on tenterhooks!

Jayne said...

Hello Rose! Dan Brown is a funny one... I read 'Digital Fortress' recently and some of his writing made me wince - eyes roaming around the room, and other strange whatnots. But he does cliffhangers very well, and has somehow managed to tap into an international generic interest with his subject matter, even if it does follow the same pattern in his books. I guess he has made these subjects all very accessible, and so they are very hard to put down... :)