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Re: S&A, Chp 1

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Posted by Magnus Smith on January 15, 2018 at 02:49:57 user Magnus.

In Reply to: Re: S&A, Chp 1 posted by Alex Forbes on January 13, 2018 at 08:54:33:

Good one - I think you're right about WDMTGTS. An author has to subtly sneak in the teaching that his readers might need later, but without telling them. He has to show, not tell (a popular theme in how-to books about writing fiction).

I saw a very small example of a similar matter, only just now, but it is a debatable one that just happens to resonate with me personally.

In P&M Chapter XX:
“She knows, with her son a policeman and all,” said Jacky. “I asked Mrs. Braithwaite at Beckfoot, but she wouldn’t tell me nowt.”
“Who is Mrs. Braithwaite?” asked Dick.
“That’s Cook,” said Dorothea. “Go on, Jacky. What did she say?”

Now some people might see this as blatantly telling your readers, not showing. And half-way through the 11th book is a late time to impart such information too!

But to me, this is just such a classic moment of true observation on the male-versus-female brain. I have said the same thing to my wife so many times:
Wife: "I will ask Deirdre to look after the cat next week."
Me: "Who's that?! Never heard of her!
Wife: "You spoke to her yesterday; the lady with a bad leg who lives three doors down and we see in church if it's not raining. She's got a son called Bernard and her ex-husband was in the RAF. She likes cheese-rolling and poker."
Me: "I am aware of the existence of this person. I swear nobody has ever mentioned her name in my presence."
Wife: [rolls eyes]

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