Tuesday, April 04, 2006

more flaws please

I'm sure somebody else has put this more elegantly than I am - but a little stretching of the willing suspension of disbelief can add zing to book. The author, on the equivalent of a literary highwire, stumbles and then regains their balance just in time, to gasps of pleasure from readers as they let go a momentary unwillingness to maintain the suspension. Sometimes its the "flaws" that give the book that something extra. Especially in kids books. Maybe we've started demanding too much logic as readers and editors.

3 comments:

Lee said...

Interesting idea. Can you give a specific example?

Andrew's black dog blog said...

The comment was triggered by listening to the audio of Zizou Corder's The Lion Boy: The Chase. Some of the coincidences were breathtaking in terms of the willing suspension of disbelief but really generated a real frission at the same time driving the reader forward. It's not perhaps a fair example as I think the audio is abridged.
The other part of this thought was a designer I read about who said a design should not be too perfect as the eye will just slide off it. There needs to be a little imperfection, a bit of grit, to catch the eye. I think it might have been Roger Black - but I may be doing him an injustice.
I look out for more examples.

Lee said...

I'll be looking forward to your examples. It's a small pet theory of mine, probably cribbed unknowingly from elsewhere, that perfection - whatever thatis, actually detracts from beauty. I even mention this in my short story 'Legacy' (see my blog). Now I'm going to google Roger Black, hereby revealing my ignorance.