The Indiana Jones Principle

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Foster - How to Read Literature Like a Professor (Interlude, 21, 22)

"The Indiana Jones principle: if you want your audience to know something important about your character (or the work at large), introduce it early, before you need it." (pg: 205)

This seems to be common sense. But really, it's not that simple. Personally, I always look for the mystery and hidden points in a story. What if I'm missing a point, or the audience is also missing it as a whole? The work loses the facet completely without reader comprehension. People usually want intrigue - they don't want to be told the information flat out. But this telling is necessary. As Foster mentions, if a person is not introduced as blind, all a reader has is the surrounding characters actions, along with the blind character's actions. People can interpret these actions many different ways... and come to many different conclusions (deaf, special needs, etc.). So, the next time I'm writing, I'll definitely keep in mind the Indiana Jones principle. Mystery and intrigue are fun, but you have to get your point across. 

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