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I have an annoying penchant for overusing "then." How bad is it? Well, roughly one of every 230 words in Chant was "then".  Yeesh.

I'm not a visual writer so much as an auditory writer. I'm blaming this on theater in general and Shakespeare in particular. When I'm plotting a story, the first pieces I get are dialog-heavy scenes. Conversations move my stories forward. That of itself isn't bad. The problem arises when I get too focused on making sure the reader hears exactly what I hear, and use way too many em dashes, ellipses, dialog tags, and odd constructions.

That auditory focus then bleeds into non-dialog prose, and that's where the Shakespeare kicks in.  I like the rhythm of language, and love how rhythm and emphasis heightens impact. Lady Macbeth's "Make thick my blood" stirs a different emotional response than "Make my blood thick." But really, most of that impact happens only when the words are spoken. In a story, it too often ends up sounding archaic, or just plain awkward.

Now that I'm comparing Chant--written in omni--to Sand--written in multiple third--I can see how writing in omni exacerbated all of the above because omni feels more like oral storytelling (to me, anyway).  And that led me to wonder if the preference for third over omni was prompted by the transition from oral tradition--with the storyteller interpreting the story as it unfolds--to written stories--with the reader providing her own interpretation.

And now, back to editing.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
sartorias
Oct. 29th, 2012 01:21 pm (UTC)
That is an interesting insight!
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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Blair MacGregor
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