Lampshade Hanging is the writers’ trick of dealing with any element of the story that threatens the audience’s Willing Suspension of Disbelief, whether a very implausible plot development, or a particularly blatant use of a trope, by calling attention to it and simply moving on.
– From TV Tropes
So why did I name my blog after a screenwriting technique? I’ve been reading and listening to a lot of writing advice lately as I’ve been focusing in on my novel-writing aspirations. I’ve heard the term “Hang a lantern on it” bandied about in more than a few places, and I’ve been mulling over it.
In a way, hanging a lantern on something is an admission of failure – it’s a wave of the hand through the fourth wall. It simultaneously breaks and reinforces the fictional illusion. My experience lately has been that all writing is an experiment at failure – it’s about failing over and over again. As they say, the first step is admitting it.
So this blog is about admitting the failure – not just in writing, but in every path. I’m waving a hand, I’m letting you know that I’m in on it. This is about acknowledging my shortcomings, and maybe in so doing, moving beyond them. It’s about hanging lanterns all over the world and examining their hues – and maybe making harsh lights a little softer.