Anticipation is a useful experience in fiction. Setting up the protagonist to expect a particular outcome and then undermining that expectation is golden in drama and comedy, too.
Think of the hero all ready for his end of WWII Times Square style kiss, coming home to find another kind of welcoming committee or the anticipation of a heavenly first sip of expensive wine — when the bottle turns out to be bad vinegar. There are plenty of good surprises too and some characters anticipate the worst-case scenario only to be taken aback by good news.
But a constant state of anticipation is just this side of misery. It’s like being on-hold for an extended wait. The endless message loop plays over and over with no way of knowing when the end will come.
I’m very excited about the new Candy’s Monsters blog design. I’m anticipating having it up and running in the next couple of weeks, but… right now I feel like I’m doing the anticipation dance. Will it get done? Will the navigation work smoothly? Will I do it justice with fun short stories and more?
I’m also ALMOST ready to release the fourth in my Candy’s Monsters series. I hope you’re anticipating a good read and don’t get bent out of shape by the delays. It’s just that every time I turn around there’s a glitch — technical or otherwise — and I’m back in that waiting room.
One of the masters of anticipation, and its delusional, hallucinatory aspects, was Poe. The anticipation of death is at the heart of the terror in “The Pit and the Pendulum” and he messes with the reader’s anticipation of outcomes in “The Tell Tale Heart” and other stories.
I’m afraid to anticipate a positive welcome to my new, and delayed, endeavors. Fingers crossed!