The Power of Letting the Reader Think

A recent post, “The Peanuts Way of Attracting Readers,” quoted from the David Michaelis book, Schulz and Peanuts, and made the point that part of Charles Schulz’s genius was letting the reader think.

On Christmas Day, also quoted from the Schulz and Peanuts book, describing how Schulz vetoed the use of canned laughter in the making of “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” still a very successful television special.

From Delanceyplace and the book:

“Schulz loathed the hyena hilarity of canned merriment and rightly judged that an audience would not have to be told when and where to laugh; Mendelson countered that all comedy shows used such tracks. ‘Well, this one won’t,’ said [Schulz] firmly. ‘Let the people at home enjoy the show at their own speed, in their own way.’ Then he rose and walked out, closing the door behind him. …

Again, respecting the intelligence of your audience pays off. For the writer, it’s the power of letting the reader think.

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