Been fun to watch people pick up the ball and run with it, viz. the showrunners/Enforcers of the Musashi Flex. Some good ideas there, and I appreciate folks taking the time to offer them. Tickles me.
That said, I don't want anybody to get too upset if I don't go down any of those roads. Knapp's character came to me pretty much all of a piece -- there are a couple of fun twists I'm doing with her -- and while there should be enough about her job to see the outlines of it, the light is not going to be too bright; thus much of the organizational side of things won't be illuminated. Just as I was somewhat hazy on exactly how the scoring for the Flex works, I'm going to avoid getting too detailed about the internal workings. And the input on the announcement that I was doing this book is the reason why:
If I leave some blank spots, readers will fill them in -- and that's part of what I like to do as a writer. I want my readers to participate in painting the picture. Less work for me -- well, sometimes not -- but more satisfying for them. Unlike watching a move or a TV show, reading fiction is not a passive activity, it should be active.
Sometimes, less makes it more so.
Now and again, after watching a movie, my wife will wonder what happened to the character after the story was over. I usually offer how I'd do it, were it mine to fool with, and come up with a through-line that I -- and she -- would find satisfying.
Oh, no, he didn't die. He recovered, moved away, found a good woman, got married, settled down, and now teaches yoga and runs a market specializing in organic produce ...
I'm probably not going to stop my usual screwing-with-the-reader by dropping in bits that connect to other books. Or using character names that echo from elsewhere. Or sometimes not-so-subtle clues to connections among the characters that go past the bounds of coincidence.
Some of you get those, and I get to grin when you ask about them. Sometimes, nobody catches them, or at least they don't mention it to me. I'm always a little disappointed when that happens.
I try to offer an accessible level for everybody, but now and then, some treats for those who look a little past the surface. I wouldn't go so far as to call it subtext, but now and again, there's is a little more going on than meets the less-critical eye.
Shadows of the Empire is filled with these. Most of the minor character names have something else going on with them. Most SW's fans don't notice, nor do they care. I had one guy send me a letter detailing almost every one of them: When I said this, did I mean that? I loved it.
Many of the people, places, and things in the Matador books have meanings in other languages that make some of my readers smile. Me, too, when I wrote it.
(And for those of you who weren't paying attention during the most recent of that series, The Musashi Flex, you could have discovered something amusing about Luna Azul and Lazlo Mourn from a big fat clue I offered. If you missed it, I'll point it out in SOTS, but if you can't wait, you'll just have to go back and re-read it ...