November 23rd, 2011

writing plot octopus

well the moon is broken and the sky is cracked

I've been thinking today, and in reference to today's work, about how subjective time--the narrator's perception of time--relates to writing. Specifically, it strikes me that one of the things detail is for, in narrative, is not just grounding and evoking... but also for slowing the narrative down, forcing the reader to focus on a particular instant because the character is focusing on that instant.

Of course this can be overdone, and too much detail (and poorly chosen detail, detail that is not telling) leads to skimming. It is incumbent upon us as writers more than anything to keep it interesting.

And thus, maybe a kiss deserves an entire paragraph in one circumstance... and in another, a battle no more than a sentence. It all depends on the subjective way that time dilates and contracts around your viewpoint characters.

We evoke what they experience.
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