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  1. #11
    fronchy fronchy

    Re: truism

    mr p ryder, may i ask your age? just curious.

  2. #12
    john palmer

    Re: truism

    I have an idea for a semi-fictional novel in which I hope to influence social change.

    Setting out with such an agenda risks writing something that is self-conscious and preachy. Do be careful.

    In the course of this work, it is my desire to engage the reader to care about the protagonist and his welfare.

    That's necessary with every story.

    One of my problems is how to decide which situations to include in the story's progression and what dialog would best affect the desired outcome.


    Which point of view to use is another question -- first person or third.

    How much experience have you had. Do you know the stengths and limitations of each? How important is it to you to get inside your MC's head? Do you want any scenes in the story that he/she is not in? Etc. Work it through.

    I am not really entirely certain how to write a story in entirely first person narrative, especially in a past tense retrospective.

    It's a cinch: "Blah, blah, blah," I said.

    Maybe you're making this more complicated than it is.

    I would like to use multiple time lines and intersperse them betwixt and between chapters.

    Betwixt and between?

    How many?


    Alternating between past and present?

    More than two is really difficult, I think. Two have been done many, many times. No worries.

    However, I worry that this will make the book somewhat harder to follow. Since my aim is to effect social change, making the book somewhat less readable is hardly a plus.

    You worry too much, methinks.

    You may ask yourself how a book can be "semi-fictional". I intend to utilize a jumble of true stories to create a fictional character whose life includes facets of many real persons' lives. So, in effect, the book would not really be fictional, merely the compendium of numerous true life stories.

    Why? What is your purpose? Sounds like a trick pool shot. Or an idea that sounds really cool when you're high -- no offence -- but might go splat if you actually try it.

    Or not.

    Any suggestions or critique are certainly welcome. I will post chapter drafts at various times for evaluation and discussion. This may be a very long process. I am barely tolerant of imperfection and will likely re-work the manuscript for several years or more in order to obtain the best effect.

    Sounds like writing to me. :-)

    It may be something of a challenge to create dialog that will at once eliminate vagueness of meaning and yet create interest for the reader.

    What does that mean?

  3. #13
    Finnley Wren

    Re: truism

    I have an idea for a novel too. In this novel, I plan to use a lot of words. I will put these words together such that when read together, they appear to the reader to be complete thoughts. These I shall call "sentences." I plan to compile a number of these sentences together in what are commonly known as "paragraphs."

    Some of these "paragraphs" might even be a single sentence!

    "But what about dialogue?" you ask.
    I answer, "My novel shall be filled with dialogue as well, but only to move the action forward."

    But I will be careful with my dialogue to only "show" the motivations of the characters, and not to "tell" too much of the story.

    Seriously . . . this has to be a joke.

  4. #14
    P. Ryder

    Re: Dialog and other considerations

    Thank you for your replies.

    I fully realize that my post was lacking information on the subject matter. I guess that was not particularly necessary since my intended subject would not appeal to many.

    You may remember Kevin Bacon playing the part of a convicted sex offender a few years back in the movie "The Woodsman". However well he may have played that part, his story did not begin to penetrate the reality of such a life. The movie also was based upon a MC that was guilty of the crime for which he was convicted. I intend to come at the subject from the POV of an innocent man forced to accept the harsh realities of a burgeoning, intolerant social climate and lacking wealth in the face of a judicial system that is all too willing to exploit his lack of money and power.

    Time line: two should be sufficient, switching back and forth between present and past with each TL progressing chronologically.

    Mya, the "stilted" quality of my post is probably due to the desire to communicate on a professional, rather than personal, level. As I get to know the others here somewhat better, I may feel more comfortable expressing myself with vernacular and colloquialisms.

    For gulliver h, if you will re-read my post it states that I HOPE to effect social change, not that the book WILL accomplish it. I do not see that as being at all pretentious. Remember the ant and the rubber tree plant? Or the Little Engine That Could? One thing is certain: without effort no change for the better will occur. I have seen many of these outcomes and a positive change is needed. There are unintended victims being created by the states and they couldn't care less.

    John Palmer, a sentence can have many meanings, all but one of which are not intended. However, obtaining clarity of meaning sometimes becomes a chore for the reader. The challenge is in conveying precise meaning without bogging down the story. As George Bernard Shaw said: "A frequent problem with communication is the illusion that it has been achieved." ; )

    Again, thank you for your input. As several have suggested, I will begin fleshing out the bones I have carried for so many months now and see how it progresses.

  5. #15
    P. Ryder

    Re: Dialog and other considerations

    Oh, and fronchy fronchy, I am 53.

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