Tip of the Tongue


I enjoy reading P.G. Wodehouse. I was introduced to the author by a very dear friend back in high school. Pritish was an ardent reader of the Jeeves series, and his love of the quintessential valet and for poor Bertie's mis-adventures rubbed off on me. 

Jeeves, Bertie and the brilliance of P.G. Wodehouse. (c) P.G. Wodehouse. 

Jeeves, Bertie and the brilliance of P.G. Wodehouse. (c) P.G. Wodehouse. 

It so happened that on one of my recent readings of Bertie Wooster's failed romances, I came across a brilliant technique P.G. Wodehouse implemented. Let me show you what he did. Here's what a piece of conversation between Bertie and Jeeves is like:

"It's been such a great day today, Jeeves. I'm feeling so... What's that word that starts with eu?", and just like you, I shouted "Euphoric!". And just like that I understand exactly what P.G. Wodehouse wanted to convey. He made me work to get the answer, and that is why he's brilliant!

A lot of good stories use this technique in one way or the other. There are certain 'gaps' which the reader must think deeply about and fill in. It's this thinking on the part of the reader that brings a story to life. There's joy in finishing the puzzle, especially in getting the tricky parts right. Our brains are always trying to find patterns in things (as Raph Koster would say). Give the audience a puzzle and they'll be  to figure it out! 

Well this goes on the list of my ideas to keep in mind when writing that next big game!