My Readers are the Smartest on Earth

You read it here: my readers are the smartest on Earth. I won’t write down to them and make them feel stupid because they are not. They are wise, clever and enjoy puzzles.

I’ve had many suggestions from beta readers over the years to add clarification on certain sentences, certain dialogue, and while I accepted some, I’ve always fought against it. I understand the secret meanings behind specific sentences; why wouldn’t my readers? Why do I need to explain further? Isn’t that like explaining a punch line?

So what if they don’t get every punch line. Maybe the second time they read it, they will. They’ll enjoy the punch lines they get.

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Readers, help us solve a few mysteries about your reading habits.

Recently, I confessed to not reading prologues. I’m not sure when I stopped reading them, but I believe it was in my late teens. Why? From what I can remember, I thought they were boring and unnecessary to the story. In my mind, they kept me from getting to the story, stalled my progress, and that was something I was unwilling to do, particular if I really wanted to read the book.

It’s been so long since I read a prologue, that I truly can’t remember if those books in the 70s and 80s had boring prologues. In some cases, they were merely information dumps, something the author couldn’t creatively inject into the story.

Or perhaps it was the books I was reading, not the period. Maybe the books were written in the 60s or 50s or before then. I can’t say.

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Craft Show Lesson Almost Forgotten

Hope2It came to me this morning. All of a sudden like. It was something I wanted to remember, something I needed to remember because it was equally important to me as to the few customers who talked about it.

And in retail, we all know if one customer is thinking it and asking about it, there are ten more thinking about it and not asking about it. It’s the same thing in the classroom: if one student asks a question, you can bet there are three others who have the same question but for some reason don’t ask.

So here it is. I was asked this question by three or four readers at the Middle Musquodoboit craft show that took place in November 2013: Do you have any stories that are uplifting, that are positive?

The women made this comment while looking at my short story collection, Nova Scotia – Life Near Water. On the surface, the stories sounded very dark:

The Man Who Reads Obituaries: A man is lying in a hospital bed, waiting to die of cancer. To pass his final hours, he plays a game he calls Heaven or Hell.

Dancing in the Shine: A woman is trying to escape an abusive relationship. She feels trapped and doesn’t know where to turn. She is isolated from friends and family. Her parents died during Hurricane Juan. She is lost and feels hopeless.

Mutated Bloodlines: The floodwaters have made Nova Scotia an island. The main character lives alone and her brother wants her to move to ‘the mainland’ for her safety, but he has evil plans for her.

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Do readers care if you’re traditionally or independently published?

Diane Lynn McGyverThe debate rages on. Which is better? Being published by a traditional company or publishing your own work?

Your answer will depend on where you are in your publishing career.

Many times, travellers on one route are looking down at the other, but there’s no reason for this. We’re all in this together, and one path is right for some while the other trail is right for others.

Unfortunately, mud-slinging has become a popular sport these days between publishers (large and independent) and between authors (both traditionally published and self-published).

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