1. Fife

    Fife New Member

    Oct 25, 2012
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    Circular and Linear Writing Styles (?)

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Fife, Nov 23, 2012.

    I'm reading Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides and in one of the earlier chapters, the MC (written in first-person) mentions how he (being a hermaphrodite) was tested in several ways, including a sampling of the MC's prose-writing to see if the MC's writing was circular like women's writing or linear like men's writing.

    I was curious about that, so I decided to do a quick search and read a bit about it. I mean, it's a concept that I'm sure I've thought about indirectly in the past, but I never heard it spelled out in specific terms before. My understanding is that linear writing goes from 'A' to 'Z', chronologically. Circular writing jumps to past; it may go to the present; it may go back into the past to build context, and then back to the present again--which is something Jeffrey Eugenides does (probably intentionally) in the book.

    Are there some guidelines or advice on when it is appropriate to use circular writing and how often you should use it?
  2. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Nov 21, 2006
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    Coquille, Oregon
    in a word, "NO!"... it's entirely the writer's choice, though one or the other may be suggested by the story you have to tell...

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