Friday, January 28, 2011

Not Talking Down to Readers

Sandie Kirkland reviewed A POINTED DEATH today on her blog, Booksie's Blog. "The mystery is difficult enough that the reader doesn't feel talked down to," she said. This is an important point. When I worked in the biotech industry I did a lot of 'translating' of complicated science for lay people. This can be done without 'dumbing down' discoveries for readers. The best science writers know this and turn out crisp, clear, informative and entertaining prose for the public. (See any issue of Scientific American or Science.) I think writing fiction is no different. The presentation of technical settings and scientific factoids should be seamless. I'm gonna keep on trying and hope my readers will let me know when I get off track.

Of the sexual encounters in the book, she added they had "none of the coyness that is so often found in mysteries and which is off-putting." I agree with Sandie. Coyness is hard for the modern reader to swallow. Moreover, it would be a tough sell in Nola's world. It would jar you and throw you right out of the story.

See the entire review here -
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