Gene Wolfe Led Me Astray

I gave the first chapter of the novel I’m working on to critters today, and most of them say the same thing: too many unexplained terms and concepts introduced in a very small space. But hasn’t Gene Wolfe has made an entire career out of Not Explaining Things? There were things in the Book of the New Sun that are introduced on the first page, but which aren’t explained until the final pages of the fourth book. Why can’t I do that? Are you trying to tell me that I’m not Gene Wolfe?

In all reality, I’ll probably change it (especially since some of the unknowns are gratuitous bits of worldbuilding that aren’t actually necessary to the story). But still, when I’m rich and famous I’ll confound and befuddle my readers whenever I dang well please.


  1. And that’s as it should be. There’s no reason why we aren’t all wrong about it. Goodness knows, I’ve had plenty of critters complain about “something,” only to find out that it’s really okay.

    For instance, it’s just possible that agents won’t blink an eye at your unexplained terms. The chapter was certainly interesting and worked well on several levels. They’ll know the explanation is coming. That’s what the rest of the book is for, right?

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