I recently saw OC Shakespeare Company’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Playing in an outdoor amphitheatre, the actors often contend with sirens, low-flying planes, and honking cars. The performance I saw was a few nights before the 4th of July so bottle rockets and screamin’ willies often punctuated the dialog.
A play within a play featured two lovers, separated and in despair. One takes a dagger and stabs himself. At the exact moment he plunges the blade into his heart, we heard the bang of a firecracker.
The actors tried to hold it together as the audience fell out of their seats laughing, but soon they were laughing, too. That delightful moment of synchronicity had to be saluted and enjoyed. The nature of live theater can be a funny business.
My beta readers returned their comments to the fourth and final Abishag mystery, An Eggshell Present. I so appreciate the mistakes they catch and sharing what they enjoyed. I pay particular attention to what confuses them. Badly worded sentences are fixed. I may substitute a more familiar term for the obscure one I used. I will add more attributions, more description, and more explanation as needed.
Sometimes I make a judgment on how much to clarify. In a series, I may embed a mystery that spans the books and may not be explained till the final book is released. In my last story, Jack Fell Down, the reader does find out who kidnapped young Jackson. That mystery starts and ends in the first book. The reader also finds out several aspects to what happened to Pam 17 months earlier, but the complete story of the incident that left her with brain damage and delusions will be revealed bit-by-bit and book-by-book.
As I go through the fourth Abishag’s beta comments, I sometimes laugh out loud. Like when I describe a stabbing, and it comes off sounding like a gunshot. Writing is a funny business, too.