It’s been a while since I blogged about writing and for that I do ask you bear with me. One does tend to get rusty when they’re made of metal and sit in the rain… Oh, that’s not what the phrase was supposed to mean. Kind of. Well, rest assured (because I know you’re worried) I did NOT leave my laptop in the rain nor, for that matter, did I leave my lovely new notebook out there (the paper kind). Writing about writing, heck even TALKING about writing lately, is not something I’ve been doing. Luckily, I have been writing at least.
And to that end I broke a rule recently. I was going to not have anyone read sections of it until it was completed and edited, but I had hubby read a few pages. What he said struck me, mostly because as a reader it would have stood out to me as well. I think. The style was lyrical, not visceral, and therefor kept him from having a gut reaction to something that seemed like it was heading there.
Again, I invoke McCarthy (because, damn it, The Road was amazing AND it’s the only piece of literature I can think of right now that demonstrates this). You see, that work was unusual in structure and it worked to bring you away from your world and into the one he built. Not merely intellectual transportation, but it makes one feel off kilter, out of place, and maybe a bit frightened in this place you’ve never been before. It’s how one should feel when in a nuclear winter (I should think – I really hope to never find this out first hand). So, is lyrical a bad thing when discussing bad things? Or alluding to bad things? I admit to not being uniform in this aspect. Other areas of the work are more sparse and pretty much forbid any sugar coating notions to form.
This leaves me wondering a few things: First, does the prose style need to be uniform throughout the entire piece? Second, Assuming it doesn’t need to be, then what is it you as a reader prefer? Or, if you’re a writer, what do you prefer practicing in your own works?