Derik Badman's Journal

2020-04-21 08:19

I don't know where the time is going. We've been mostly staying home for five and a half weeks now. It doesn't really feel that long in some ways. I try to keep my schedule and my habits.

I'm still working on a story (the third one now), though it feels like its going slower than the previous two. One thing I am balking at is dialogue. I'm not sure what tactic to take with it. How much do I want to consider the voices of characters or how much do I not care about a sense of "realism" when it comes to speech. How much can I summarize versus play out? In general the shifting of narrative duration... and I just pulled out Genette's Narrative Discourse to find his terms: pause, scene, summary, ellipsis. I think for me the scene/summary divide especially in regards to conversations is where I get unsure, which draws me to the "why I am writing this story" and "what is my goal". Two questions I haven't answered for myself other than, "it felt like something I wanted to do to occupy myself." Though I know, in part (perhaps a great part), I am interested in genre and generic conventions. Having a better sense of my goals might better allow me to decide where my attentions should lie in the style and in the choice of durations.

I've been working my way, a few chapters a night, through Delany's Neveryona the second volume in the series, which is a single novel. The protagonist is a young woman who quickly starts intersecting with the various protagonists and secondary characters from the first stories. She leaves home in the country and goes to the city, and her naivety to the setting allows for a lot of discourse by the other characters. Delany is interested in the discourse and allowing his characters to speak ideas, but does not, in my opinion, seem very concerned about the individual voices of the characters. The dialogue is not "realistic", it is often more like lecturing or storytelling. I always feel like I have to pay close attention for the subtle references to the previous stories or ongoing mysteries about the setting/story. Even just unnamed references to characters from previous stories that help weave the whole series together.