marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

annoying incluing

There's this novel that I remember well.  Archaic Greece for the setting.  Except that a character snuck into a garden and stole potatoes.  Later, there's a major -- not foreign -- character named John.

And  then, at the end of the book, a character is looking at the Oracle, and letters appear before him, "THERE IS NO GOD" -- he blinks -- "OTHER THAN YOU" -- and I go, "That's Wisdom -- on a computer!"

The thing was, the clues were insufficient.  They just looked like bad world-building.  And that was a bad case since on re-reading, I found no additional clues, and the one that really clued me in was literally the climax of the story.

OTOH, there are readers who won't pick up clues.  I, indeed, once had a story criticized because it had both trains and peasants.  That shouldn't even need incluing.  Peasants were being worn away in the nineteenth centuries as the trains came in, but there were still distinct peasantries.  Indeed, there probably are recognizable peasants in regions with trains to this day.

But -- you wrestle with it.  Is this mad jumble of names -- Anastasia, Ogier, Hyacinth -- going to clue the reader into the jumble that the world consists of it, or just make him think that the author doesn't realize that the names are all of quite different regions and unlike to appear together barring lots of travel in a pre-modern world?
Tags: exposition, names, travel, world-building: food, world-building: general, world-building: plants

  • One Bright Star to Guide Them

    One Bright Star to Guide Them by John C. Wright Once upon a time, four children went to a magical land and did great and wonderful deeds. Then they…

  • The Werewolf of Whitechapel

    The Werewolf of Whitechapel by Suzannah Rowntree A monster mash of royalty in the 19th century. Mostly in England. Features strange deaths, cover…

  • Cloak of Blades

    Cloak of Blades by Jonathan Moeller Cloak Mage book 4 The continuing adventures of Nadia. Opens with a scene where she is working with the…

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded