This morning, Inker Donna and I were talking about withholding information in writing. We all want our readers to have surprises, we all like to cast a fog of intrigue. But when does withholding the information become more of an annoyance than an enjoyment?
I think of these holdout's in terms of TV as well. I recently finished a one series TV show that I watched off Netflix. The show left some holes, a few questions, but all in all, was pretty good and I enjoyed it.
These are my thoughts on shows that have done well, and not so well, in the information holdout (keep in mind, these examples are ONLY for the seasons listed.)
GOOD EXAMPLE: Heroes, season 1. It was a great story from week to week, keeping the viewer engaged, having a beginning, midpoint and end. I watched every week, and anxiously waited for the next week. Save the cheerleader, save the world.
BAD EXAMPLE: Lost, season 1. Don't get me wrong. I LOVED Lost. I watched every week, and anxiously waited for the next week. But it's hard to set up so many questions, with answering so few. After a while (say season 3) it gets more frustrating than intriguing.
The moral of the story is this. Think about why you are withholding information. If it's only to have the reader asking more questions, consider divulging the information and seeing where that leads.
What are your thoughts on this. What shows do you think do this well, or poorly. How about books?