Conventions Exist for Good Reason

Don’t miss mystery writer Ellen Behern’s post at #MotiveMeansOpportunity !

MotiveMeansOpportunity

By Ellen Behrens

Ever read a book but run into spots where you scratch your head, then flip back a few pages, thinking you missed something? Me, too. I recently picked up a nearly 500-page paperback novel set in South Dakota. I like reading books set where my husband and I have traveled, and I was looking forward to a rare Black Hills novel. Alas, I nearly gave up on page 5.

The author had me with an intriguing opening line: “Didja ever notice old folks’ homes smell exactly like funeral homes?” Hmm. Never thought of that. The narrative voice sounded sassy and honest, and I liked that.

I overlooked being introduced to the main characters by their first names only, assuming the author had a good reason to break with the convention of using full names.

obstacles

Then, on page 5, I bumped into a reference to another character, this…

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