Monday, May 13, 2013

Novel Characters Need Their Own Voice

Entry Four “Let them be true to themselves”

I have read book reviews that plainly stated the author’s use of dialogue was unrealistic. Certainly there are times when this is true. However, it is important to remember that just as dialogue was created by one writer the review was created by another (both flawed humans). In other words don’t always take another person’s opinion as fact. Decide for yourself, read the dialogue in the context as written, consider the background of the characters as developed, and then decide if characters of a particular age, socio-economic level, academic preparedness, and geographic upbringing would actually say those things as purported.

Mark Twain is renowned for his characters and their use of language. Perhaps if Twain were a newly published author today his critics would not be so fond of his use of language, dialect, and vocabulary. In fact I am certain many would say it was unrealistic. Of course Twain would have laughed them off and probably advised that they try not to drown in their own ignorance.

Most writers work hard at creating realistic settings, language, characters and stories. Let’s not rush to judgment and assume to know what is right or wrong. When in doubt give the author the benefit of the doubt.

Stay tuned, next entry I plan to take on “Purple Prose or no Purple Prose, that is the question.”

Your comments and questions are always welcome.

Elizabeth’s Secrets
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