Sunday, March 28, 2010

Me on Types of Prose in Fiction

so, here's the continuation of my thoughts on writing. who knew homework would be so helpful?? :D

Hodgins describes the different types of prose in fiction and gives examples of them, but I’ve found that when I write I can’t separate them out in my mind. Everything is written the way is happens in my head, whether that be exposition, narrative, or a scene. It’s all a bizarre, and fun, mixture of showing and telling.

I need all of them, though. Exposition is great for back story, for informing the reader, for bringing the reader into an alternate reality that I’ve created. Narration is helpful, especially because I often write in first person. Sometimes I have an issue with how time moves in what I’m writing. I could easily write what happens to my narrator and characters one day and then the next and then the next, but it gets a little boring after a while. Being able to gloss over a few days with some of the narrator’s random thoughts mixed in is helpful.

I think I like scenes the most. Very often, I start either a chapter or something new with dialogue because it’s easy to use dialogue as a source of humour when writing. Sometimes jokes in the narrator’s thoughts don’t always work, but when someone is saying the joke, it seems to be funnier. You can be so informal with dialogue, fiddle with words and maybe even add an accent so when someone reads it, it’s even funnier.

I once heard that young adult fiction is written in scenes, but I think it’s more like young adult fiction is written in sections. There’s often one main idea occurring in every chapter, which is why in some I’ve read recently chapters can be five pages long or twenty-five pages long.

Chapter length doesn’t seem to matter, but it all has to flow with that correct mixture of exposition, narration, and dialogue, that correct blend of showing and telling so often found in good fiction.

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