Author Intrusion

Sometimes the author has a way of poking herself or himself into the story. It ruins things. You’re going along in Dakota’s head as he tries to rescue a beautiful woman from the clutches of Bad Bill.

“Don’t move, Dakota, this ain’t no toy gun.”

Dakota didn’t have a weapon of any kind. But courage and creativity were part of him. He faked a move to the left and…

Of course that’s author intrusion. But what about a simple adjective? Later in the story, Bad Bill has shot Dakota. Bad Bill put his foot on Dakota, a triumphant gesture for all in the bar to see.

Besides being redundant and telling, it’s author intrusion. When we tell a ping pongstory it’s important to stay in one person’s head in the scene. Otherwise it’s reader Ping-Pong.

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2 responses to “Author Intrusion

  1. It’s a matter of genre, I think, Ed. There are novels in which the narrator is actually like another character, and that’s okay. But of course, you don’t want narrator intrusion in crime/mystery or even commercial romance, to name two genres where it’s definitely unsuitable. .

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