Jump to content

Maddening Literary Stylisms


Recommended Posts

I feel I'm on the verge of a rant here.  I'm currently reading The Wolf Border by Sarah Hall, a novellist new to me.  She puts a sentance together beautifully and so far she's shaping up to be a good story teller but I'm not sure I'll read any more of her books.  Not for some time anyway.

 

Why?

 

Firstly she writes in the present tense and it's really, really intrusive.  I don't know why, Wolf Hall is present tense too (I think) and I didn't even notice because it just felt like it was right for the way she was telling the story. 

 

Secondly, and by far the most irritating, she doesn't use speech marks and there's a lot of dialogue.  Why?  Is it to seem edgy and modern or is it somehow thought to be good for the reader to have to struggle a little in working out who says what and when it is speech and when it's prose?  She's a good enough writer for there to be little confusion but all the same it still makes reading the book tiring, especially at night.  I can't see it adds anything to the story and definitely takes away from that wonderful unfettered enjoyment you have with a good book.

Edited by Viccie
Link to post
Share on other sites

Writing in the present tense doesn't bother me if it's well done and adds immediacy. But it can certainly be distracting, and it raises questions about the validity of storytelling if it's not done well.

But lack of punctuation, whether it's speech marks or commas or periods is always at least a little annoying, and sometimes downright enraging! It just seems so lazy! I am wholly willing to read closely and think about what I read as I do so. I am not willing to be forever trying to work out who said what, and to have to re-read whole paragraphs because the lazy author didn't bother to let me know that what I thought was a run on sentence was actually a series of clauses. I'm not that anal about grammar in general, but a sentence or a paragraph can have many different meanings depending on the breakdown of sentences and clauses, and I darn well think it's the authors job to do that work, not mine!

Link to post
Share on other sites

It depends on the material for me. If I'm reading stream of consciousness then I'm not expecting punctuation much more than full-stops, and the prose, of course, has to be exceptionally well written. If it's not s-o-c then it drives me mad and I won't read it.

Edited by lunababymoonchild
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

Writing in the present tense doesn't bother me if it's well done and adds immediacy. But it can certainly be distracting, and it raises questions about the validity of storytelling if it's not done well.

But lack of punctuation, whether it's speech marks or commas or periods is always at least a little annoying, and sometimes downright enraging! It just seems so lazy! I am wholly willing to read closely and think about what I read as I do so. I am not willing to be forever trying to work out who said what, and to have to re-read whole paragraphs because the lazy author didn't bother to let me know that what I thought was a run on sentence was actually a series of clauses. I'm not that anal about grammar in general, but a sentence or a paragraph can have many different meanings depending on the breakdown of sentences and clauses, and I darn well think it's the authors job to do that work, not mine!

 

It's simply bad manners. Though not so new. I have recently picked up an old Slovenian translation of a Russian novel and gave up after four pages because as well, dialogs were not marked as such and - in a foreign language - I could not even tell where someone started or ended speaking!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...