Some clarity, and really helpful clarity, on the issue of 'patronising' the characters, and by extension, the reader. More emails.. and again, Im thanking this colleague.
It seems to come down to a fine difference between the way I write some characters but not others. And it is very interesting. As I said before... this is magic feedback. And I was just a wee bit off beam supposing it was anything to do with writing characters who differ from me as a person!
My colleague went into some detail about the portrayal of some characters whose head I seemed to be in 100%, so that the work was organic. And then others who I was less engaged with, it seemed, where there was a sort of distance between me and them, and therefore, the impression is that I am slightly 'outside' them, and showing them somewhat deliberately to the reader.
A few lines were quoted, places where characters are introduced in a direct way by the writer. (I am Miguel or Who is Harry?).
I now understand more, and he's right... its a sort of authorial 'intrusion', which in the hands of a real humdinger of a writer (I love that word!) would be far more successful!
Or...would it? is any authorial intrusion successful?
Hmph. You see, I love reading stories where the writer is talking to ME. Addressing me directly, making me part of the play that's unfolding. When I was a kid I used to go 'all goosey' when I came across something like, "and then what do you think happened, dear reader...?"
Oh I loved being the writer's 'dear reader!'
Wasn't I a nerd. Still am.
So it is a subtle thing, and one that has something to do with style preference, but which also does point up an interesting and fine craft issue.