Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Presto--The Writer As Magician
Writing is like that, isn't it? A good read asks the reader to suspend disbelief. We then watch things unfold and coincidences or behaviors which would never fly in real life are accepted as a necessary device to let the characters develop and the plot unfold. And the more we are drawn in and the more we care about the characters, the more defined our suspension of disbelief.
The best writing is like the best magic trick. It begins simply and is inviting. Misdirection serves to keep the eye away from the craft behind the scenes. The reader absorbs symbolism, subtext, and metaphor almost at the subliminal level. Perhaps some writers demand more of a reader. Perhaps their plots twist, their characters are more complex and contradictory, and the prose requires patience and reader involvement.
In the end the goal is the same--- to touch the reader. To have the reader revel in the reveal.