Filed under: short fiction
Ann Crispin recommended The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman for her writer’s workshop. The chapter on subtlety was sweet, sweet validation.
Yeah, sure, I’ve been known to overdo it on occasion. I’d rather understate than write the scene where Character A looks into the mirror, twirls his mustache, and gloats to himself, and then the rest of the story is Character B’s POV.
The trick, I think, is to incorporate Beth’s advice–the Hitchcock quote that suspense is always better than mystery. That’s not the same thing as spelling everything out; I think the point has more impact if the readers figure it out by themselves.