Tag Archive: Mysteries


download (1)I keep getting side-tracked when it comes to making blog posts. The new job, plus finishing contracts on the old one, is taking up a lot of time. However, I had to write up a review of Skin Game by Jim Butcher, the latest Dresden Files novel.

If you don’t know what The Dresden Files is (or if you only know it from the failed TV show that bares little in common with the books), here it is in a nutshell. Harry Dresden is a wizard. A professional wizard. The only professional wizard in Chicago, to be exact. He’s even in the phone book. He’s a card-carrying member of the White Council, the semi-secret (mainly because normal people don’t believe they exist rather than because they try to hide) semi-government of mortal magic users. They also, to some degree, protect mortals from supernatural threats: vampires, demons, warlocks, werewolves, faeries, and other things that go bump in the night. And, in Harry’s case, they try to pay the rent while doing it.  Continue reading

Fooling the Audience

Normally I ignore April Fools’ Day, but it occurred to me that it would be thematically appropriate to talk about a valuable writing skill: hiding things from your audience.

“Wait, what? Hiding things? That doesn’t sound like a good idea! The whole point of writing is to tell them things!”

Exactly! But you don’t just tell them the end first, do you? You build up to it, with clues that set up the twists, but then hide those clues so that it’s still a surprise to all but the most eagle-eyed.

I feel I should issue a warning, though. Learning these concepts can lead some people to feel that all stories are ruined forever. If you’re just here for the reviews, don’t read any further. Personally, I find it enjoyable to spot the tricks, especially with a skilled author; it doesn’t ruin it any more than knowing how to spot individual brush strokes will ruin a masterful painting. Still, I’ve seen people become disappointed, and so I give you fair notice.  Continue reading

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