Hey, Brandon Scott here. I have a guest post from a friend of mine. He writes books. If you want to read those books, well, follow this link: http://www.teamstarangel.com/. He’s a cool guy, you should give them a look.
And once you’re done with that, let’s get to the article.
It occurred to me that there are essentially two types of reader: Fast, or, you might say, skim readers (I fall into this category), and detail readers. The best stories can be enjoyed by both.
At times, the details of a story can get lost to a fast reader, and if those details later become important, especially if they become very important, as in key to the story, then those readers may lose the story entirely. They feel it wasn’t good when, in fact, maybe it was.
Conversely, detail readers, those who get the minutia, no matter how small, no matter how obliquely mentioned, even things only vaguely hinted at, can get bogged down with over-explanations. The same sort of “Hey! Pay attention to me!” that might be needed for a fast reader becomes arduous and painful for a detail reader.
As a fast reader, I’ve experienced the “too subtle” story points, missed them in my haste, then had to go back and find where some key bit of info was mentioned in passing for which I missed the significance.
And, so, what occurred to me is that the best stories (the best-written, at any rate) successfully play to both types. They manage not to bog down the detail readers, while at the same time enforcing the important points in a fast, standout sort of way that the fast readers gets and that still impel the story forward at an engaging clip.
In the end, a good read is one where you’re immersed in the story and, honestly, forget you’re even reading. All writing is a transfer of ideas via another medium–words on a page. The best writing makes that “via” disappear. In the best writing/reading exchange, the reader gets the exact images, feelings, ideas, and all else as they existed in the writer’s head at the time of the writing. That’s a great read.
Here’s to that experience!
Special thanks to: Bob Gerkin, Collin Pearman, Dylan Alexander, Jerry Banfield, and Michael The Comic Nerd.
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