Before we get into the guest post, I just wanted to remind everyone that if you have a guest post you want to share here on this blog, please e-mail it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep in mind that the posts should be either writing or literature related. Check my previous post on more guest post guidelines. This guest post is kicking off my NaNoWriMo preparation posts for all of you. The other day I decided to participate again this year (hopefully I’ll be more successful than last year..) so keep checking back for those posts. Now, onto Panda’s guest post (btw, she’s one of my NaNoWriMo writing buddies lol)
The Power of Speech
This year I’m participating in NaNoWriMo. I’d heard of it many times in the past before, but was always under the impression that writing a novel just wasn’t my gig – I always found myself much more drawn towards poetry (I was rather successful on allpoetry.com in years gone by!)
However, as I’ve grown up (probably not actually, just in terms of years) I’ve found myself wanting to… well… get my ideas out there. I want to get into the open the thoughts and opinions that float around my mind on a daily basis. This is virtually impossible through poetry, there’s so much restrictions and rules, and I’m not one for “writing my thoughts in a poetic manner” – there’s just too much floating about in there to put into poetic terms.
So that’s how I ended up here, guest posting on a blog, writing about NaNoWriMo 2011 and why I’m participating.
But that’s not what I actually want to talk to you about. No, what I want to talk about is the power of speech within a novel.
I mentioned above that poetry has a lot of restrictions. If you think about it, so do novels. There’s definitely a “way” to put across a narrative to someone. A narrative can’t possibly be your own exact words, thoughts and opinions, because there’s no personification. No, where your ideas come into it is through the art of speech.
Speech, in a novel, is key to subliminally getting across to the reader what you, the author, are thinking about whilst writing the novel. You can personalize speech to make it fit your character, who could, in turn, be based on you, and thus compelling the reader to indulge in YOUR thoughts and ideas, and not that of the character alone.
For example, when it comes to narrative, you generally have to write using proper English. This is standard across the board really, after all, it needs to be easily understood. However, with speech, you can bring in accents, dialect, made up words, “in-joke” words, whatever you want really.
As a narrative, “She held on to the street light for dear life as the tank rolled through the quiet town” sounds quite, well, boring really, doesn’t it?
However, if you transfer that to speech, you can put it across whichever way you fancy. Whichever way suits you, as well as the character.
“Well I was walkin’ ‘cross the street an’ this bloody massive tank was thunderin’ towards me! So I held ont’ the street light and, lordy lordy, I could feel the ground ‘neath my feet shakin’!”
It just makes it more… personal, more interesting to read. Some would say that the former is better because you can add imagery to it. Flickering street lights and quivering pavements are fantastic, but when I personally read the two together, the first-person spoken description is much more visually pleasing when you imagine the scene in your mind.
NEVER underestimate the power of speech in your novel. A novel with too much speech is destined for disaster, this is true. But likewise, a novel with far too much narrative will bore your reader into a mid-afternoon nap if you’re not careful.
Finding the right balance is key to creating an enthralling novel. But try not to convey all of your imagery through narrative. Speech can be one of the most powerful visualising tools available to an author, so use it wisely!
If you’d like to read my blog, you can do so here -> http://procrastinauthor.blogspot.com/ J
And if you’re doing NaNoWriMo, best of luck!