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08 August 2003 @ 05:14 pm
you know...  
I bet Peter Wingfield would have made a great Sherlock Holmes.

And if I had 20 icons I could iconize that thought. Hmmph.

You know what I like about stories? This is just a random observation. I like when writers are going with the flow and they let the story do what it wants to do, instead of trying to force the story to do what *they* want it to do. Like in this story I read a while back, called Golden Bands to Bind Them. A lot of things were well done in the story, but where I really got zinged was when it switched gears with smooth skill into script dialogue:
Buffy: How'd you convince Giles to let you out of the tub?

Spike: Asked.

Buffy: Did you find anything remotely useful during research yesterday?

Spike: No.

Buffy: Sounds like maybe Anya is onto something.

Spike: Maybe.
And so on. Dialogue that in a normal narrative format might quickly get tiresome is pefectly offset and framed by the style, which highlights Spike's terse, staccato responses.

And then later when Buffy goes on a date with Riley, we again bump off the beaten path and get a snapshot of their date:
Buffy went to class. Buffy met Riley. They went to the Espresso Pump for a pair of lattes. They talked about class. They talked about Iowa and L.A. and old friends they'd left behind. Riley smiled. Buffy laughed. The coffee was good.
And it's perfect--the short little sentences convey the awkward baby steps of their interaction, each moment sequentially blocked off, simplified and rote. It also gets across the brightly colored "Dick and Jane" tone to their relationship--its stilted normalcy.

I think that's brilliant. It's great when authors maximize the richness of their medium, words, instead of letting themselves be limited. But of course now that I've called attention this this, some of you are thinking: okay, well, I'd like to do something like that, but now I'm too self-conscious. At least, I know I'd be feeling like that. But time will pass and maybe this thought will take root. I think this is how I've learned a lot of what I've learned in writing, by stashing away tricks stolen from other people. Some kinds of theft are good.
 
 
 
Lorilorij on August 8th, 2003 06:40 pm (UTC)
you know...
I'm teetering on the edge of thinking you're being wonderfully sarcastic. :-)
Anna S.eliade on August 8th, 2003 06:44 pm (UTC)
Re: you know...
Er...not sure what you mean. So probably not. ;)
Lorilorij on August 8th, 2003 06:49 pm (UTC)
Re: you know...
Ah. Well. Sarcastic about how good the story is. Unless you really liked it. In which case, wow, do we disagree a bit. :-) It's good in a bad fic way, though.
Anna S.eliade on August 8th, 2003 06:54 pm (UTC)
Re: you know...
Well, it had some flaws (which I hadn't really intended to highlight here), but I really liked it all in all, and I thought those particular bits demonstrated great authorial instincts.
Lorilorij on August 8th, 2003 06:59 pm (UTC)
Re: you know...
Ahhh. Gotcha. I like the idea of the story, just those things threw me out of the story. Different strokes, eh?
Kat Allisonkatallison on August 8th, 2003 06:55 pm (UTC)
I've actually tried swiping from you, over the years (not with any marked success, as I am butterfingered). Nothing as specific as particular stylistic approaches; more your audacity with language, the ease and authority with which you unlimber the words and deploy the imagery. I read, I envy, I try to take courage by proxy.

And you are so, *so* right about Peter Wingfield. Maybe in another five or ten years they'll be ready to film another version of Holmesiana, and someone will have the wit to cast him. (He also would make an extra-tasty Lord Peter Wimsey, needless to say...)
Zoë Raynez_rayne on August 8th, 2003 07:27 pm (UTC)
(He also would make an extra-tasty Lord Peter Wimsey, needless to say...)

That sounds like something you should be able to order for takeaway: "I'd like an extra-tasty Lord Peter Wimsey, with a side order of Jeeves/Wooster and a large helping of Archie Goodwin for dessert."