[LMB] Setting the story up

Walter Bushell proto at panix.com
Sat Dec 13 18:33:12 GMT 2014

On Dec 13, 2014, at 11:07 AM, Lois McMaster Bujold wrote:

> [LMB] Setting the story up
> Howard Brazee howard at brazee.net
> Sat Dec 13 13:26:54 GMT 2014
> One of the delights we have with Heyer is when she has a complicated or absurd set up for her novel.   She doesn't try to surprise us in her books (even her mysteries), and we enjoy the trip knowing where we are going.    The set-up sets the scene.
> Which setups did you especially enjoy?    What made them work (especially the more absurd ones)?
> LMB:  _Cotillion_ springs to mind.  Also _The Reluctant Widow_, _The Convenient Marriage_, _The Unknown Ajax_, _Friday's Child_... rather  a lot of 'em, really.
> I'm not so sure I would say I know where she's going with these -- on the first read.  2nd through nth, yeah.  Surprise is a great effect in a book, but you can only have it once.  All the rereads have to be for some other reason, although I suppose that can include "the pleasure of remembering the surprise from the first time".
> Ta, L.

And seeing the setups for the surprise. For example Cordelia taking tea with Alys and 
speculation on what it would be like to have Bothari as a midwife.

And Kou's swordstick which plays at least two future uses. One might forget about after his
visit to the house of no special fame.

Being no mystery reader, and tending to dash through the books at first reading I failed to twig to the culprit in Memory until he tried to bribe the Auditor. Further readings showed that their were points all over that red flagged himfor at least the short list.

Miles not fast pentaing the wife of the missing man in _Komarr_ who ran away with a woman from the office because he thought it would be abusive which would have ended the story right there.

I should really make a list of these foreshadowings.

And Elana showing up books later. Unfinished business, finished.

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