September 12th, 2012

Reading a story is like experiencing a role playing adventure

Very recently, a reviewer of one of my stories complained to me, “Reading this is like playing a role playing game. The reader has to advance up level by level.”

This statement was truly said to me as a complaint, although I still can’t figure it out. Should I should have given the reader a complete list of characters and a map of universe, prior to asking the reader to read the story? Do we ever get a map and character list prior to starting a story? Would you read a story that tried to give you all of this prior to the first paragraph?

It’s been 10 days since that comment, and I still can’t figure out what the basis of the complaint was. To me a well told story is where you the reader starts with a tight focus on a single scene, and expands outward as you learn more. Is this not the brilliance of story telling, such that a good story will tease us forward, into the darkness in hopes of learning more?

This was originally posted at You are welcome to reply at or here.

Know anyone who enjoys cultivating gardens?

I think I might finally have some free money to get some help with our garden. Before I hit up Craigslist and such, I was wondering if anyone knew someone who enjoyed working on gardens and wanted the money?

There's definitely some basic cleanup work, but I'm primarily looking for someone who will consult us on how to make the trees grow better, how to trim them properly, etc. Even better would be someone who'd have fun rebuilding what we have here into something fabulous.
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