Monday, May 10, 2010

Why you so weird, Jen?

I've been meaning to blog about something in particular, but I keep forgetting! I'd wanted to hit on my, so it seems, unusual style of writing. More specifically, my preference for running dialogue.

So, I've discovered that some folks are surprised by my use of character interaction to tell a story. In fact, I've gotten several comments from readers who were taken aback by it at first, only to end up loving it by the book's end. Honestly, this completely through me. Like all of you, I've been reading books since I could hold them open, yet it's funny, because I never really noticed when a book had a lot of dialogue. Quite the opposite, actually.

It led me to think of why I enjoyed writing this way. And I thought to myself: Self, let's blog about it, since it seems to be such an anomaly.

Okay. Truth be told, it probably starts with my fear of purple prose. See, my mind's eye and my gut naturally gravitate toward smooth, flowing, fast-paced stories. I enjoy making a point with the least amount of extraneous adjectival wordage possible. And by this, I mean, I like to describe things sufficiently, but I don't like to bog down the reader with twenty pages of block paragraphs to describe a rock--not when I'd rather lead them on an adventure as if they were watching it on screen. The interactions, essentially the actions, really keep you in the head and the heart of the characters. And though some folks prefer to write in a different fashion, for some reason, the way Seers was written just felt natural to the story.

I think that, when I'm writing, the emotions of the characters, the give and take, back and forth, the real earthy guts and grit come out so intensely using dialogue. And so, I thoroughly enjoy this method, because, where evoking emotion is concerned (even if it makes the reader uncomfortable, even if it feels too close to home), I don't think you can ever do too much.

Nothing opens your mind like walking in someone else's shoes. So, imagine the benefit of experiencing the consequences of said journey via others' feelings, as well. Also, it's kind of rooted in my own philosophies. Namely, our every interaction is a vital lesson. Every word, no matter how seemingly inconsequential, changes the course of our lives and the lives of those we love. When I wrote Seers, I just wanted you guys to see it happening for yourselves.

So, for those who wonder why I utilize the running dialogue so much, I hope this gives you an idea of the hows and the whys. Thanks for sticking with me this far. It always amazes me when you do.

Much love,


Book Crazy Jenn said...

I have to say I was one of those that found it different, but different, in the end equaled GOOD or GREAT - so...I loved it, and now I miss it, when reading other books - they are missing things when no one talks :)

Jen said...

Hullo, my heart. I'm so grateful that you appreciated the dialogue. It's such an important part of a writing for me, so yay! *hugs*

Tracitalynne said...

That's funny, I never noticed one way or the other, either. But I have heard critics talk about dialogue in other books too- some love it, some hate it. Weird. I can't imagine hating it, but maybe because that is how my brain works, too. I mean, I can really appreciate Ernest Hemmingway, but shit, dude, stop describing that mountainside!

The book I read after reading Seers was very describe-y, and I just couldn't stand it and ended up hating the book. Maybe because your way is The More Awesome-er Way? I THINK SO!