Looking down the road, seeing dark hints

My reader is making careful and deliberate progress through my novel (in between all of the other demands of her life, of course), and she gives me regular reports of her opinions, finds, and suggestions.

Among her earliest was a comment about these two sentences in chapter one:

Those who do not know Vincent Damon well believe that he bears no malice to anyone and simply speaks without reserve whatever comes to mind. That is what Frye thought then too.

My reader said she got a thrill at this hint of something important that was going to happen.

You see this kind of presentiment all the time in literature. Sometimes it’s called foreshadowing. On my reader, it certainly had its intended effect: she is intrigued and eager to read on. The story has captivated her. The writing, I think, works.

Not long after receiving her comment about this, I ran across a blog where this technique was discussed as a very bad thing. The blog writer even called it “authorial intrusion.” (At best I think it might be “narrator intrusion” but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. The narrator is telling the story after all.)

Every time I come across another one of these prescriptive blog posts I am more certain than ever that I must keep my own counsel about how to write.

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4 Comments on “Looking down the road, seeing dark hints”

  1. reader Says:

    Yes! That is one of my favorite lines! You must keep it.

    p.s. sorry that my reading is going so slow… i hope to complete two chapters today!

  2. Pete Says:

    Technically speaking, isn’t every narrative technique “authorial intrusion”?

  3. Brian Keaney Says:

    Like everything else it depends on context: where you do it, why you do it and how often you do it. I’d like to say that general rules about writing are nearly always silly but that would be making a general rule.

  4. schillingklaus Says:

    I like authorial intrusion, and so I use it religiously. No critique will ever be able to change my ways.


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