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This is good because I’m terrible at keeping secrets.

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That is a really good catch. I did not pick up on that when reading through it. I really enjoy Mark Richard's writing style and unique word choices.

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I think one of the only times a character’s body of knowledge is seeming accurate to the character’s age is with Stephen Dedalus from Joyce’s ‘A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man’. In fact, that’s my favorite thing about that book -- the character’s knowledge -- specifically, his vocabulary -- becoming more broad and eloquent as he ages.

In doing some redrafting on my ‘A Happy Birthday’ short story -- thank you again for the critique! -- I give the length of the metal spike holding the cake together in specific measurement by way of forensic examination that happens later and is which is stated in court. Future body of knowledge working its way in retroactivity, I guess, so that’s why I I mention it.

I’ve been meaning to pick up a copy of ‘The Ice at the Bottom of the World’. I’ll have to add it to the top of my Christmas list and hope Santa takes my bomb threat seriously to ensure that I get it.

P.S. “I know this because Tyler knows this” is a neat way of showing a character’s body of knowledge. Especially given, you know, a certain twist.

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"I will never be able to truly empathize with my father unplugging his father until I unplug him. "

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I still don't think I understand fully. You're saying to have a character state something, slip something in a story that only makes sense when the story is over? Oh god, I'm so confused right now.

And you said this was supposed to be an easy trick?? I want to use this but I am not skilled enough haha

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love mark richard.. :)

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Thanks for the book recommendation - will pick up this and a book of Syd Mead's sci-fi art this week for leveling up.

I'll have to read the book to see how the flash-forward is used, I like the idea of using an unexpected detail, behavior, or bit of knowledge to set up future events.

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Ive been wary of using the fact that the narrator is now an adult for some unknown reason. This is extremely useful.

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Also, I got my copy of that book a couple days ago. Ordered it last time you mentioned it. Will dive in after I finish Selby, The Room.

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“All stories are told after the fact”? Or all stories that are written in past tense? If it’s written in present tense how can this be true? Or applying the advice on flash forwards in a present tense story?

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I'm thinking that having a main character's sidekick drop knowledge would also be a way of flash-fowarding, no?

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Dec 11, 2022Liked by Chuck Palahniuk

Professor Palahniuk,

Book is ordered. Thank goodness for eBay. And—- it’s an ex-library book. Ding! It will be here soon. Also, momentum is REALLY building for Midwest Story night. I love watching people’s eyes grow bigger and their mouths drop when I tell them about it. Not to mention, the clutching of their hearts and following with with the following statements, “He’s one of my favorite writers! He’s probably the only one whose books I have every single one of! Omg! I’m totally gonna read.”

I’m beyond excited.

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Seems like a good trick. Non-fiction novelists do it best for me. They tell the truth.

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