Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Reader's Guide to Author's Jargon 7

Hanging a lantern

This is the act of drawing the readers attention to a logic lapse (eventhough the author may not correct it), before the reader gets a chance to find it and lessen their credibility in the story. Such lapses are essential for pace and exposition and, if corrected, would tear the fabric of the work. Therefore, we do not ignore them, but cover them up in plain sight. The term comes from the silent movie days when pieces of the set were incongruously in sight. The director would yell, Hang a lantern on it.

Edward C. Patterson

No comments: