1. boo
    Offline

    boo Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0

    Question on Voice

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by boo, Oct 7, 2009.

    Hi,
    I'm not sure where to post this but I am working on a novel and it is in first person POV and the narrative is very much in the main character's voice, sometimes at the expense of good grammar.

    Its written sort of in the vein of Cruddy, Flowers for Algernon, Clockwork Orange, etc where the Voice is really powerful, pervasive.

    Is it ok to take this sort of creative license in first pov even if the grammar is not correct? Or would this really turn off publishers/readers, etc?

    Thanks :)
     
  2. arron89
    Offline

    arron89 Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Messages:
    2,460
    Likes Received:
    91
    Location:
    Auckland
    To be honest, it all depends on how good the writing is. Stylistic disregard for grammar is apparently becoming more and more acceptable, but only in the hands of those who really know what they're doing. It will most likely ruin your story (at least in the eyes of readers and publishers) unless you're able to maintain enough control over it to make it work for you, rather than against you.
     
  3. boo
    Offline

    boo Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Perhaps I should post the first part in the novel section here? I've only written 2 chapters. The Grammar Nazi in me is very hesitant over if it would work or not.
     
  4. mollie
    Offline

    mollie New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2009
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Great Britain
    I think you can if it is well written and the dialect is used not only for stylistic reasons but also for character development. A good example is Alice Walker's The Color Purple which uses the main character's dialect and poor grammar to realistically portray her, but also to show visible improvments throughout the novel.
     
  5. arron89
    Offline

    arron89 Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Messages:
    2,460
    Likes Received:
    91
    Location:
    Auckland
    You have to be careful with using language as an ideological tool like that though. Alice Walker wrote in that way to manifest the racial divide between black and white people, to reclaim some power in the language by writing in a way that was specific to black readers and sought to exclude the white reader (not necessrily in a malicious way). It is very much a social and political act, not just a storytelling technique.
     
  6. Rei
    Offline

    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Messages:
    7,869
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    Kingston
    If a writer can pull off what was done in Flowers for Algernon, you can pull off much less extreme stuff. I've read books that were written in Jamaican English that were great. Just make sure it's done with purpose, that you understand the rules you are breaking, and it doesn't make it too hard to understand.
     

Share This Page