Writing Techniques in Potshot

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First-person narration adds an additional level of identification between the writer, the reader, and the protagonist. In addition to allowing the reader to perceive the world through Spenser's eyes, and therefore, as colored by Spenser's philosophies of life, this point of view also serves to hide important truths from the reader about the mystery to be solved, thus enhancing the level of suspense. Also, because Spenser appears to live in a realistically-conceived world, the reader derives perhaps more satisfaction from his triumphs over the criminals through the greater identification associated with first-person narration. Moreover, this type of point of view has become something of a tradition in the detective genre, beginning with Edgar Allan Poe's short stories featuring C. Auguste Dupin and continuing in the earliest hard-boiled fiction of Carroll John Daly, Dashiell Hammett, and Raymond Chandler, among numerous others.

Wise-cracking sarcasm, particularly selfdeprecating humor, plays an important...

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This section contains 260 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy the Potshot Short Guide
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