Ghost Fingers

Hold your index finger a foot in front of your nose, and look well beyond it at what ever is there, maybe a wall or the horizon. Some of you will see only one finger there, while others will “see” two “ghostly” fingers. Our rational minds tell us there is one actual finger, but for many of us–me included–our private sensory experience reports “seeing” not one but two. Being rational, even those of us who see two would never suspend disbelief and accept the ghost finger as real. The trick of good storytelling, however, is to do just that–suspend the reader’s disbelief and get him to accept that fictitious finger as reality. The Big Question for me as a writer is this: How well–or not well–do I pull off this trick of suspending my reader’s disbelief? I have no clue if I do or don’t. Sure, I’ve read my stories aloud to friends and fellow writers, and their feedback has always been generally positive. But it’s also been analytic. I’ve never gotten feedback from someone who’s tried to read one of my stories as escapist entertainment, which is why many of us read fiction. You know, the book you hope transports you to another time and place, catches you up in events far removed from those of your own mundane existence. That’s what I want to know about Trout Kill. Does it transport you?

2 thoughts on “Ghost Fingers

  1. Dan Nugent

    Eddie just left the prison cell where Em is being held. Really enjoying your book! Your story telling definitely has me wondering what’s next. With the weather the way it is, I will probably finish this weekend then pass it on to my wife. Thanks for the “transport”

    1. pauldage

      Dan, I’m beginning to see you in a completely new and marvelous light … a literary guy! Let me know your thoughts after you finish. By the way, you missed a great weekend at Tom’s beach house. Bangs lost his ass, and I took it from him. I’ll let him tell you all about it.


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