Why writers should respect their readers
As a writer, do you feel a responsibility to respect your reader? How do you do that?
An Associate Press news article caught my eye, and I think it has an application to writing.
Trust me, I'll explain. But first, here's the story:
Woman Shoots Self While Trying to Kill Mice
POTTER VALLEY, Calif. — A Mendocino County woman who was trying to kill mice in her trailer with a gun ended up shooting herself and another person.
The 43-year-old woman pulled out her .44-caliber Magnum revolver after she saw the mice scurrying across the floor of her trailer on Highway 20 in Potter Valley, sheriff's officials said.
But she accidentally dropped the gun, which went off as it struck the floor. The bullet went through the woman's kneecap, bounced off the keys sitting on the belt loop of a 42-year-old man in the trailer and grazed the man's groin before ending up in his coin pocket.
Authorities did not release the shooting victims' names.
The mice escaped the shooting unharmed.
Okay, here's my take on this bizarre connection: writers need to respect their readers. When tempted to take out the big guns (READ: over explain or add too much unnecessary detail), don't do it! Our readers are smart people. They like nuance, they like to use their imagination when reading a scene. All the dots do not need to be connected to be understood.
Sometimes the big guns just backfire!