The Blank Spaces In Our Stories: The Messages Writers Send Readers Between the Words


  1. Patricia Stoltey
    Patricia Stoltey October 29, 2013 at 9:50 am .

    Another excellent post, Mark and Kym, and with perfect timing as I contemplate my NaNoWriMo project for this year. I like the idea of using a setting as the link between the books in a loose series of standalones. Setting can be a wonderful character.

    1. Kym-n-Mark Todd
      Kym-n-Mark Todd October 29, 2013 at 1:39 pm .

      Thanks, so much, Patricia. And we certainly agree about the setting angle. It’s let us use old characters or intro new ones as main characters with impunity while still feeling like we weren’t letting our readers down. Thanks for hosting our articles. It’s been fun connecting with a new set of folks we should have long before now!

  2. Julie Luek
    Julie Luek October 29, 2013 at 10:41 am .

    I liked how you did this in your book. Even though I hadn’t read the previous books, I knew they were connected in setting and a few references to past experiences, but the book still read well as a stand-alone (although it did whet my appetite to go read the previous books now!).

    1. Kym-n-Mark Todd
      Kym-n-Mark Todd October 29, 2013 at 1:37 pm .

      Hi, Julie, glad your appetite was whetted. We’ve tried hard to make sure each book in the series is a stand-alone, but we also tried to build on and take advantage of subtle insider jokes that mean more for those who’ve read others in the series.

      And since the first book, LITTLE GREED MEN, was reissued with the publisher for the subsequent books in the series, we even went back and placed foreshadowing in the first one for those that follow. Now *that* was a treat to us.

      Thanks for having us in this excellent blog!

  3. ML Swift
    ML Swift October 29, 2013 at 11:12 am .

    Hey M&Kw/aY!

    Great explanation on the importance of those blank spaces, whether it’s “That’s all, fffolks” or “You’ll be drooling for the next one.” Both are necessary for the reader to know beforehand. And when a stand-alone becomes a series (like yours has), it really makes them want it. “I thought it was over, but here’s more! Yay!”

    1. Kym-n-Mark Todd
      Kym-n-Mark Todd October 29, 2013 at 1:34 pm .

      Thanks, Michael, for dropping by. Actually, we didn’t know the first book in the series was any more than a stand-alone until it was in print for a while. Then we wanted to make sure we did something more than just “same song, second verse.” At the same time, we were afraid of disappointing fans who liked what happened in that first one. Tricky, very tricky. But we managed, we think, to walk that narrow space because most readers ,whew!> did say “Yay!” :)

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