Don't Try to Make the Shallow Seem Deep

Deliberately puzzling or confusing a reader may keep him reading for a while, but at too great an expense. Even just an “aura” of mystery in a story is usually just a lot of baloney. Who are these people? What are they up to? Provoking such questions from a reader can be a writer’s way of deferring exposition until he feels the reader is ready for the explanation of it all. But more likely it’s just fogging things up. A lot of beginning writers’ fiction is like a lot of beginners’ poetry: deliberately unintelligible so as to make the shallow seem deep.