Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tuesday's Inspiration - Language flexibility

When I saw the term language rigidity in On Becoming A Novelist by John Gardner, I began to think about what this meant. Being able to fit the language to the characters or the genre chosen is a real plus for a writer. At first I wondered if this was the writer's voice everyone spoke about. Then I knew it wasn't.

Being able to take a character and give them an unique voice isn't something that happens over night. This takes practice and listening to people and how they face the language. I'm having a great time in my current WIP for the people in the main part of the story don't speak their words but they sing. This is forcing me to think more about the flow of words. Like cannot for can't and do not for don't. Also forces me to use repeat words because the singing language often uses these to maintain the beat. Then I dive from this to a contemporary story where one of the main characters is a composer and the other is an occupational therapist. Once I have the story blocked I'll be able to hear their voices and to make them unique. That one is a man and the other a woman makes a difference.

What I'm striving for is language fluidity. I don't always make it on the early drafts but I hope I can hear the characters speak the way they should. How about you? Are your stories filled with a rigidity of language or are they fluid?

1 comment:

Melissa Keir said...

I'd like to think that I have language flexibility but now that you've described it, I find that it happens sometimes in some stories but not naturally in all. I think it's when I know the characters better.