Saturday, September 4, 2010

Questions about voice and rules

I'm the first one to admit grammar and sentence structure are important. They are the rules that bring order to what might otherwise be chaos. I wonder, though, at that point where the rules collide with a writer's voice, what's the best choice to make? A writer might bend or even break the rules for emphasis, for style, or because it suits the story. If you're writing a story in first person, you are not the narrator. Your point of view character is the narrator. Should the narration sound like that character? And if it doesn't, will that difference pull the reader out of the story? Even when you're writing in limited third person, drilling down into just one character's head and heart, shouldn't the narration sound like that character? I'm not talking about throwing the rule books out. I just think that maybe there's got to be some room for an author's voice - a character's voice - to come through. If not, then why don't all the books we read "sound" the same?

These are just some things I'm thinking about lately and I wanted to post  this to get some opinions and input. This whole thing of voice versus rules is something I'm still figuring out. My instinct is to follow the rules as much as possible, but ultimately to obey the story. What do you think?

No comments: