Time for a poll–about a plot!

Let’s say you are reading a romance. *covers ears against squeals of indignant protest* Okay, okay, say it’s a mystery, perhaps. Even though it IS a romance, a romantic suspense. It’s a non-techie type of book. You’re not a computer nerd. I SAID “let’s say.” Pretend you aren’t a propellerhead.

Your main character is being bothered with unwanted phone calls and e-mail messages. The bad person appears to be able to get the new phone numbers and e-mail addresses as they change. So your characters decide to set a trap!

In the previous passage, they’ve discussed how they traced back the headers in the e-mail and found them to be faked to look like they were coming from a friend. Before going to the police and phone company and trying to do all the red tape stuff to get a tap on the line or whatnot, they decide to set a trap to see if it’s one of their other co-workers or friends (someone they’d rather not accuse or get into trouble if it’s a “joke”), and then take action based on what they find. (It’s tough to get that wiretap unless you’re WITH the government, after all.)

Do you want to see the trap and hear all about it, or do you want to be surprised? Should the next scene be all techie, or would you rather skip to something else that gives clues and red herrings about who it might be,a and then see the trap sprung?

I am inclined to leave them hanging with the last line telling the reader that “we’re going to set a trap,” and not to explain what the trap will be. Then I’ll cut to a different scene and let them hang for a while. THEN we’ll see the trap getting sprung, and readers will realize when it happens (I hope.)

Or would you want to see it all explained right up front?

Crud–can’t do a poll or I’ll lose all this text. Sure, I could copy it and re-paste and all that rot, but I’m not sure I want a yes/no poll. It wouldn’t help as much as an explained yes/no. People who have an opinion on this should have their full say, right? I’d appreciate a few different points of view on this one.

So . . . please leave a comment at the tone. BEEP!

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Author: shalanna

Shalanna: rhymes with "Madonna" and "I wanna," and is not a soundalike with "Hosanna" or "Sha-Na-Na." Aging hippie with long hair, husband, elderly mother, and yappy Pomeranian. I've been writing since I could hold a crayon. I started with fiction, which Mama said was "lying." “Don’t tell stories,” she would admonish, in Southern vernacular. “That's all in your imagination!” When grownups said this, they were not approving. So, shamed, I stopped telling stories for a few years--rather, I stopped letting anyone read them. I'm married to a fellow computer nerd who doesn't really like hearing about writing, but who reads sf/fantasy and understands the creative drive. I'm actually a nonconformist/hippie still wearing bluejeans and drop earrings and the Alice-in-Wonderland hair with headbands and sandals. Favorite flavor is chocolate/orange, favorite color is either Dreamsicle orange (cantaloupe) or bubble-gum pink, favorite musical is either Bye Bye Birdie, Rocky Horror, or The Producers . . . wait, I also love The Music Man. Is this getting way too specific and irrelevant yet? Obvious why I don't sell a ton of flash fiction, isn't it? To define oneself, I always say, it is good to make a list. How about a booklist? Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird Frank and Ernestine Gilbreth, Cheaper by the Dozen C.S.Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (all the Narnia books) J.R.R.Tolkien,The Hobbit/LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy Gail Godwin, The Odd Woman F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby J. D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye (before dismissing it, actually read it) George Orwell, 1984 Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle Donna Tartt, The Secret History Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn James Allen, As A Man Thinketh Mark Winegardner, Elvis Presley Boulevard James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum Winnie-the-Pooh/House at Pooh Corner, A. A. Milne Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie The KJV and NIV Bible (each translation has its glories)

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