Monday, October 8, 2007

Shouting on paper

Earlier in the year my tutor, Jen, told me that "shouting on the page is much louder than shouting in real life." At the time I'd looked at her like she was crazy, but now, 1.75 (or so) novel drafts later, I'll say those are wise words.

Shouting, crying, or for that matter farting, on the page are much louder than if you merely get exposed to it, say in a film or even in real life. Why? Because the words on the page have to be processed through the brain of the reader, meaning they sound inside your reader's head, banging right against emotion, thought, soul and whatever else they have in there.

I initially found this entirely by accident, though it took me a while (including time to digest Jen's words) to actually realise what I'd discovered. In my writing, I'm aiming for a limited third person right-behind-the-eyes point of view. I hope this will lead to a more intense experience for my readers, though there is a question as to how much sustained intensity they can take. I'm trying desperately to write a contemporary novel* here and don't particularly want to accidentally end up with James Bond. (no dodginess meant.)

*What is exactly is a contemporary novel? I don't pretend to have much of a clue. But I try and read them, when I'm able.

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