1. Daniel
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    Daniel I'm sure you've heard the rumors. Founder Staff Contributor

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    Oral History (fiction book)

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Daniel, Jun 15, 2007.

    I'm reading my first book that's set up as an oral history. This is very uncommon, at least from my experience, for a fiction author.

    What are your thoughts on the style? Anyone here ever written a book as a Oral History? What are the benefits and cons of doing this?
     
  2. Domoviye
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    Domoviye Contributing Member

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    How's the author writing it that way? What perspective is he using, and how's it different from ordinary novels?
     
  3. Daniel
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    Daniel I'm sure you've heard the rumors. Founder Staff Contributor

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    Basically he's using a collection of several fictional series of notes and interviews.

    All the events of the story (at least so far) have happened in the past, revolving around a central character. The author uses snippets of information provided from witnesses, friends, and associates of the main character. These snippets are mainly their opinions of the main character, quotes by him, and stories or rumors involving the main character.

    The author changes from the person interviewed every half a page or so.
     
  4. Domoviye
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    Domoviye Contributing Member

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    Ok I understand now.
    I've seen this done in short stories, and at the start of chapters before, but never for an entire book.
    Who's the author?

    (Sorry I have nothing of importance to add.)
     
  5. chase42
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    chase42 Member

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    I have tried to do this in a couple of stories to give it a "documentry" feel, but no success came of it for me.
     
  6. Daniel
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    Daniel I'm sure you've heard the rumors. Founder Staff Contributor

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    The book is Rant by Chuck Palahniuk.

    With this style it started out really slow and really hard to get used to, but now it's actually rather interesting and unique.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    he's one of the most 'out there' writers!... what he gets away with [not imo] is beyond what 99.99% of all seasoned writers wouldn't even attempt, much less be lucky enough to succeed at...

    i can't see any 'benefits' to be gained by using the 'oral history' style, other than if you do it extremely well, you might sell it... down side is if you don't do it extremely well, you probably never will...

    it's nothing more than another way of telling a story... in the end, all that counts is how good the story is and how well it's written...

    the marvelous margaret atwood used a variant of that technique to great success in her novel, 'alias grace'... it won her the canadian 'giller prize' and a place on the 'booker' short list... try that one next... i'm sure you'll enjoy it...
     
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