To celebrate the new year, novelist Alison Kent posts an excerpt from John D. MacDonald’s terrific introduction to Stephen King’s NIGHTSHIFT. The introduction is full of great advice for writers. Here’s a tiny bit:
Story is something happening to someone you have been led to care
about. It can happen in any dimension -physical, mental, spiritual –
and in combinations of those dimensions.
Without author intrusion.
Author intrusion is: ‘My God, Mama, look how nice I’m writing!’
kind of intrusion is a grotesquerie. Here is one of my favourites,
culled from a Big Best Seller of yesteryear: ‘His eyes slid down the
front of her dress.’
Author intrusion is a phrase so inept the
reader suddenly realizes he is reading, and he backs out of the story.
He is shocked back out of the story.
Another author intrusion is the mini-lecture embedded in the story. This is one of my most grievous failings.